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The 8 Best Checked Luggage Bags of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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TripSavvy / Jhett Thompson

If you’re heading off on vacation for more than a night or two, you’ll likely need a checked bag—and there are literally thousands from which to choose. The best will be durable, with a sturdy hard shell or soft fabric exterior capable of withstanding rough baggage handlers while hiding the worst of any wear and tear. An excellent checked bag should also roll smoothly and be easy to maneuver on many terrains and should make the most of its internal packing space with clever organization pockets and expansion features. 

To determine the best luggage options for various requirements and budgets, we tested 27 popular bags in the Dotdash Meredith lab. We reviewed each one for capacity, maneuverability, durability, organization, and value.

Final Verdict

  • Others We Tested

How We Tested

  • What to Look For

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Best overall, samsonite winfield 2 hardside.

  • Capacity 5 /5
  • Design 5 /5
  • Maneuverability 4.5 /5
  • Durability 5 /5

Excellent interior organization

Great maneuverability on multiple terrains

Potential for slight scuffing

The Samsonite Winfield 2 28-inch hardside spinner scored near-perfect marks in our testing, impressing us with its design and durability. A 100 percent polycarbonate shell offers the perfect blend of lightness and toughness, absorbing impact by flexing and then rebounding to its original shape. During our intense testing, we found that even dented corners instantly popped back into place, and contents were kept secure throughout. And, with a brushstroke exterior, any minor scratches or scuffs are camouflaged, keeping your luggage looking sleek for longer. 

The suitcase’s square shape and expansion option guarantee maximum capacity. Even when stuffed full, we found that it retained its shape and size perfectly and offered plenty of space. In particular, we love the compression feature that keeps contents neatly in place and the full-zip interior divider that makes it easy to separate clean and dirty clothes. Once packed, the suitcase is also easy to maneuver thanks to its sturdy, retractable handle and four multidirectional wheels. Whether pulling it behind us or pushing it in front, we felt it performed admirably, even over rough surfaces and around multiple obstacles.  

Other features include oversized zippers and a side-mounted, TSA-approved lock. The suitcase has a limited 10-year global warranty and comes in various colors, from charcoal to Nordic blue.

Dimensions: 31.4 x 20.4 x 13 inches | Weight: 11.13 pounds | Wheels: 4 | Expandable: Yes

TripSavvy / Vicky Wasik

Best Budget

Kenneth cole reaction hardside suitcase.

  • Maneuverability 4 /5

Allows for double-sided packing

Reinforced corners for added durability

Wide choice of bright colors

No expansion feature 

Difficult to handle on uneven terrain

Available online for less than half the price of our overall winner, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out Of Bounds 28-inch suitcase is ideal for those on a budget. It boasts a lightweight hard shell with molded corner guards for maximum impact resistance. Besides a few scuffs around the edges, it stood up well to our durability tests and should provide good resilience for long-distance trips. We especially love how spacious this bag is. Despite its compact appearance, our tester could easily pack a month’s worth of clothes and accessories. 

The interior is divided in two by a large zippered pocket, making it easy to organize your belongings. Compression straps keep everything in place during transit, while four multidirectional spinner wheels promise the smoothest ride possible on even terrain. We were impressed with its ability to spin in any direction while traveling through tight spaces; however, we did find that the suitcase became less easy to maneuver on rough surfaces. Overall, though, this bag is tough to beat price-wise and offers excellent value for money. 

Dimensions: 29.5 x 20.5 x 11.75 inches | Weight: 9.6 pounds | Wheels: 4 | Expandable: No

Best Hardside

Travelpro check-in expandable hardside spinner.


  • Design 4.5 /5
  • Maneuverability 5 /5
  • Durability 4.5 /5
  • Value 4.5 /5

Trendy look

Stands up well to rough handling

Superb maneuverability

Not particularly lightweight

The Travelpro Platinum Elite large spinner suitcase features a 100 percent polycarbonate shell that flexes on impact to prevent cracking. With its textured finish, aluminum corner guards, and genuine leather trim, it’s definitely a fashionable choice—and one whose sleek looks survived our drop and bat tests, with only minor scuffing visible afterward. The clamshell interior boasts two zippered divider panels, adjustable hold-down straps, and more accessory pockets than our tester knew what to do with—including a water-resistant one for damp items.

We found that the zippers were exceptionally smooth on the main compartment, interior pockets, and the 2-inch expansion feature. We were also impressed with how well the suitcase handled over bumps, around obstacles, and across various terrains. This is due to Travelpro’s trademarked PrecisionGlide System, with no fewer than eight self-aligning spinner wheels. Finally, the bag comes with a lifetime warranty that even covers airline damage for the first five years.  

Dimensions: 30 x 18 x 13.5 inches | Weight: 12.3 pounds | Wheels: 8 | Expandable: Yes

Best Softside

Travelpro platinum expandable spinner.

  • Design 4 /5

Tough, functional fabric

Intuitive interior storage 

Performs well on all terrains

May be too large for some

If you’re in the market for the ultimate softside suitcase, this one from Travelpro is the largest spinner in the Platinum Elite line. In fact, it’s so spacious that our tester felt able to fit double the amount required by our testing standards—making it ideal for extended trips, moving houses, or the incurable over-packer. It features scuff- and stain-resistant fabric that proved its durability by surviving multiple falls and bat beatings without sustaining a scratch or dent. Leather accents and chrome zippers add to the overall aesthetic appeal. 

We loved the intelligent interior design, with just the right number of storage pockets and compartments—including a fold-out suiter for keeping your best clothes wrinkle-free. The exterior zippered pocket is another nice touch and is perfectly sized for your passport or wallet. The tapered expansion provides up to 2 inches of extra, tip-resistant packing space, while the sturdy wheels handle well on smooth and rough surfaces. We did find that the bag’s super-large size made it a little cumbersome for maneuvering in tight spaces, though.

Dimensions: 32.5 x 21 x 13.25 inches | Weight: 11.5 pounds | Wheels: 8 | Expandable: Yes

Best Splurge

Tumi alpha 3 packing case.

Innovative, long-lasting material

Effective expansion system

Plenty of organizational features

Relatively heavy

Retailing for over $1,000, the Tumi Alpha 3 Short Trip suitcase is definitely a splurge and one that we felt was probably only worthwhile for frequent travelers. However, for those willing to make the investment, it will last: The suitcase features Tumi’s exclusive FXT ballistic fabric, which is extra durable and virtually abrasion-proof. With impact-resistant side panels and protective bumper rails, it’s no surprise that it survived our tests without any dents or scuffs. Bonus: It comes with a five-year warranty. 

The suitcase also stands out for its multiple exterior and interior pockets. We liked that the main compartment and the largest exterior pocket are protected by a special security zipper, while the removable garment sleeve was another highlight. A two-stage expansion system meant we could fit everything in easily with plenty of space for more, while a three-stage telescoping handle and four double-spinner wheels ensured premium maneuverability. Other benefits range from an integrated TSA lock and Tumi Tracer to optional monogramming.

Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 13 inches | Weight: 15.4 pounds | Wheels: 4 | Expandable: Yes

Best Capacity

Delsey paris hardside spinner.

  • Maneuverability 3.5 /5

Roomy interior with a deep clamshell design

Can be converted for two- or four-wheel use

Gorgeous, highly visible color choices

No internal pockets

Made from durable, lightweight polycarbonate, the Delsey Paris Helium Aero suitcase features a ridged exterior to help prevent damage—although it did show some minor scuff marks after our rigorous testing process. Nevertheless, we loved its amazing capacity, fitting everything on our list with plenty of space left over even before deploying the expansion feature. With a single divider separating the main compartment into two halves, interior organization options are relatively minimal. We suggest packing cubes for those who prefer a bit more structure. 

The suitcase has four double spinner wheels and a telescopic handle that locks in two different positions to enable two- or four-wheeled use. We found it easy to push or pull on smooth surfaces and a breeze over bumps, but it was more difficult to maneuver on gravel. Soft-touch top and side carry handles and an integrated TSA combination lock complete the package. There are several vibrant colors to choose from; we felt that the high-shine jewel tones would be particularly easy to spot on the luggage carousel. 

Dimensions: 31.75 x 20.75 x 12.75 inches | Weight: 12.5 pounds | Wheels: 4 | Expandable: Yes

Best Design

Roam the check-in.

  • Capacity 4 /5

Tons of colors options

Rolls easily over different terrain

100-day free trial

Relatively expensive

Could be more spacious

If you’re looking for an on-trend and totally out-of-the-box suitcase, this one from Roam is probably for you. Some of its features are relatively standard: the polycarbonate shell, the telescoping handle, the four spinner wheels, and the TSA lock. Our tests found each to perform at the top end of the spectrum, with absolutely no visible damage after our rough handling process and beautifully smooth maneuverability even on gravel. Other elements, such as the water-repellent zippers and internal compression boards, are less expected. 

Perhaps most exciting is that this suitcase is genuinely customizable, with options to choose the color of every aspect, from the front and back shells to the zippers, bindings, and wheels. There’s even a monogram patch on the back for that extra-personalized touch. Don’t want to choose your own colors? Roam also offers a selection of colorways inspired by and named after different travel destinations. You can choose to make your suitcase expandable, which we’d recommend since a relatively limited capacity was this bag’s only drawback.

Dimensions: 26 x 17.5 x 10 inches (non-expandable), 26 x 17.5 x 10.5-12.5 inches (expandable) | Weight: 9.3 pounds | Wheels: 4 | Expandable: Yes (if chosen as an optional extra)

Best Duffel

Briggs & riley wheeled duffel.

Plenty of pockets

Durable fabric

Wheels avoid back strain of traditional duffels

Expensive for a duffel

Only available in two colors

Packing bulky or odd-shaped gear or heading off on an expedition that requires a super-tough, versatile bag? This duffel from Briggs & Riley, one of the best luggage brands, is an excellent option. It features 800-denier ballistic nylon, which we found incredibly strong with no signs of damage post-testing. And although the two color choices of black or army green are not particularly exciting, they’re designed not to show wear and tear and are infinitely practical. Unlike traditional duffels, this one is wheeled for your convenience, with two wedged feet to keep it upright. 

The interior is incredibly roomy and made more so by the external Outsider handle and the zip-around lid pocket with its 2-inch expansion feature. We liked the cinch-down garment panels, which keep everything in place while doubling as a divider. There are many internal and external pockets, including a PVC-lined one for your wet or dirty gear and a zippered mesh pocket for smaller essentials. We found the bag super light and smooth to operate on hard floors, carpet, and gravel, and we liked that it packs down small for easy storage. 

Dimensions: 27 x 15 x 15 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Wheels: 2 | Expandable: Yes

Passing our tests with flying colors, the Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside is easy to maneuver over any terrain, features thoughtful interior organization, and comes backed by a 10-year warranty. If you are sticking to a budget, the Kenneth Cole Reaction Out of Bounds Hardside Suitcase delivers incredible value at an accessible price point.

Other Checked Luggage We Tested

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage, 29-Inch : Although it won points for its huge capacity, we felt this suitcase could use more comprehensive internal organization, a smoother handle system, and better performance on rough terrain. 

Briggs & Riley Baseline Expandable Spinner, 26-Inch : We found this to be a thoughtfully designed suitcase with great movement and a clever expansion option. However, the boxy design and high price tag prevented it from making our list.

Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable : Although this suitcase looks sleek and comes in many colors, has an expansion option, and offers plenty of room, we felt it was let down by its awkward maneuverability on all but the smoothest surfaces. 

Briggs & Riley Sympatico Large Expandable Hardside Spinner : This suitcase stood up well to our durability tests and offered clever internal organization. However, we found the zippers were prone to sticking, and the handle was a little flimsy. 

Away The Large Flex Hardside : We loved this suitcase's fashion-forward design and attractive color choices. Nevertheless, without any significant innovations in terms of organization or maneuverability, we found it hard to justify the high price tag. 

Monos Check-In Large Hardside : We really liked how well-built this suitcase felt and that it was easy to roll over all terrains. The downsides included slightly sticky zippers and the fact that it lacks the option to expand.   

Arlo Skye The Zipper Check-In Large Hardside : This is an attractive, spacious suitcase with many intuitive design features. However, we found that it scuffed easily during our tests and felt it should be a little more durable at such a high price point. 

Paravel Aviator Grand Checked Hardside : Pros of this suitcase included its chic design, pretty colors, and smooth operation. Cons included a relative lack of interior organization options and the fact that it suffered several scuffs and dings during testing. 

Rimowa Essential Lite Check-In Hardside : This bag is costly, and our testers felt it was not worth the money, considering how easily the suitcase dented during testing and how difficult it was to maneuver over rough surfaces. 

July Checked Bag, 26-Inch : This is a well-designed, good-looking suitcase with thoughtful interior organization and options for customization. However, it scuffed easily during testing, so we would only recommend purchasing it in darker colors. 

Calpak Ambeur Large Hardside : Initial impressions of this suitcase were good, thanks to its glamorous exterior and versatile pockets. In the end, though, it was discounted because it was easily damaged during testing and lost balance when rolling over gravel. 

Beis The 29-Inch Large Check-In Roller : Although expensive, we felt this was an excellent suitcase with intuitive organization options. It stood up well to durability tests and maneuvered easily, and it would be a worthy alternative choice for several of our categories. 

Nomatic Check-In Hardside : This is a sleek suitcase with some excellent organization features; however, we felt that it was overpriced, especially since we struggled to pack everything on our testing list inside—a problem that we rarely encountered with other bags. 

AmazonBasics 26-Inch Hardside Spinner : This was a great piece of luggage for the price, with plenty of room and excellent exterior durability. Its flimsy compression straps and handles and the fact that the wheels stopped spinning on gravel hurt its overall rating.

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 100L : We liked the roominess of this duffel and its sturdy, weather-resistant exterior. We didn’t like the relative lack of organization pockets or the fact that it felt top-heavy and on the verge of tipping over when wheeling it. 

Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler 130L Duffel : We liked this duffel's durability and ability to convert to a backpack. However, it didn't make our final list because of its lack of organization, flimsy main grab handle, and limited maneuverability.

To create the recommendations above, we subjected each piece of luggage to the same rigorous testing process. First, we weighed the suitcases. Next, we packed them with a prescribed list of items to replicate what one might pack for a seven-day sightseeing trip in the fall . We noted spaciousness, whether the suitcase had an expansion option, and the usefulness of any organization features. We also checked the smoothness and durability of all zippers. 

Next, we tested maneuverability by rolling the suitcase through an obstacle course that included speed bumps and cones to simulate airport obstacles. We also tested how easily it operated over tile, carpet, and gravel. Finally, we tested the bag’s durability. This involved several drop tests, pushing it off a countertop, and noting any dents, scratches, or scuff marks. Then we beat the suitcase with a baseball bat, making sure to target all sides, corners, and wheels before checking for exterior and interior damage. 

Using our observations, we rated each suitcase on a scale from 1 to 5 for a list of attributes, including capacity, organization, maneuverability, durability, and value.

What to Look For in Checked Luggage

There are two main types of checked luggage: softside luggage, with popular materials including ballistic nylon and polyester, and hardside luggage , with the most popular materials being polycarbonate or ABS plastic. Both are available as luggage sets, and there are pros to both. Softside luggage is less prone to scuffs, dents, and scratches and more forgiving for the over-packer. Hardside luggage protects your valuables with a rigid frame and offers better weather resistance.

A checked bag should be roomy enough to accommodate everything you need for your trip while having some space left for souvenirs. Too small, and it’s a waste of the additional fee many airlines now charge for checked bags; however, it’s also worth bearing in mind that the largest bags may take you over airline weight limits when packed to capacity. A bag with an expansion feature you can deploy as needed is ideal. 


You need a suitcase that can roll smoothly for many miles through airport terminals and withstand being pushed or pulled over various terrains, from smooth concourses to uneven sidewalks and cobbled streets. The best have four spinner wheels that allow them to move in any direction (handy for weaving through crowds) and a sturdy, telescoping handle capable of supporting the weight of your suitcase even when fully loaded. 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) considers any luggage with a linear measurement of over 62 inches oversized. To work out your suitcase’s linear size, simply add the dimensions for length, width, and height. Airlines usually accept bigger bags but will charge a fee for them. The price (and the maximum size accepted) varies from carrier to carrier.

The IATA also lists items that cannot be packed in checked bags. These include e-cigarettes, spare batteries, power banks, and potentially hazardous items such as gas canisters, fireworks, lighters, and bleaches. Again, detailed lists may vary depending on your airline and destination, so it’s always a good idea to check before flying. Banned items will be removed and typically confiscated.

Smart suitcases are defined as any suitcase that has an integrated electronic device. This could be a USB charging point (super handy for keeping your phone going throughout your journey), a built-in scale (no last-minute repacking at the check-in counter), or a GPS tracker. The downside? Many airlines have banned smart suitcases that use non-removable lithium-ion batteries due to a potential fire risk on planes.

When suitcase shopping, you should research which models offer the best value for money—ultimately, you’re looking for quality construction that will perform well and save money in the long run by lasting several years. Then, you should spend as much as you can afford while also not paying for gadgets or gimmicks you don’t need. Often you’ll pay extra just for a brand name, so you need to decide if that’s worth it for you.

Each manufacturer will have guidelines, but generally speaking, you should remove any external dirt with a soft-bristled brush or damp cloth (depending on which is more appropriate for the stain and the material your luggage is made of). Make sure your luggage is completely dry before packing it away, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You can use an approved lubricant to keep wheels and zippers running smoothly.

Jessica Macdonald is TripSavvy’s Africa travel expert. She is an experienced traveler who has put many brands and types of checked luggage to the test on her adventures to more than 50 countries—whether on cultural breaks to cities across Europe, a scientific expedition to the Peruvian Amazon, or a months-long backpacking adventure through South East Asia.

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The Best Carry-On Travel Backpacks

A person standing outside in a light blue short sleeve shirt wears the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L backpack, in black with a gray llama-head logo and aqua accents.

Opening up your favorite carry-on travel backpack—with all of your stuff in the right place and easy to reach—should feel like you’re opening the door to a well-organized closet or sitting down at a clean desk.

This is a moment to center yourself, no matter how chaotic the journey.

What we considered

A 45L bag maximizes overhead space but can get heavy when fully packed; 35L bags tend to be more manageable.

Clamshell designs open like a book and are easiest to pack, but bags that open traditionally tend to have more structure.

Ideally, a travel backpack has handles on all sides, especially the bottom, for pulling it out of overhead bins or from under seats.

Some internal pockets are useful, but major organizing is better managed on your own with packing cubes.

We spent six months testing 22 bags and flying across the country with all of our picks.

In the end, we chose two as our top picks: the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L (for most trips) and the larger Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L . Both bags are exemplary carry-on travel backpacks that are designed for comfort, durability, and organization.

Though these backpacks are great as companion bags for any trip, they’re designed to ultimately replace all of your other luggage and become your exclusive bag as you travel.

This is not a style of packing that’s for everyone, but once some people try it , they’re forever hooked. However, finding the right bag is a personal choice, and no single bag will appeal to everyone.

That’s why we have picks that are great for people traveling for work , others designed to be carried over long distances , picks for maximizing your packing space , and budget options for travelers who want to give the one-bag strategy a try.

The research

Why you should trust us, best small carry-on bag for most situations: cotopaxi allpa 35l, best large bag for most situations: peak design travel backpack 45l, best bag for document organization: topo designs global travel bag 30l, best bag for long journeys on foot: osprey farpoint 40 and fairview 40, best bag if you need a large suitcase on your back: tortuga travel backpack 40l, best affordable large backpack: ebags tls mother lode weekender, other good carry-on travel backpacks, who this is for, how we picked and tested, what to look forward to, the competition.

I’ve been covering aspects of luggage and travel bag design for Wirecutter for nearly a decade and have personally researched, tested, and compared hundreds of bags in that time. And as members of a remote organization, our editors and writers travel a lot and are continually testing the gear we recommend—our travel gear guide remains a perennial favorite among staff members. I personally try to do most of my travel with a single backpack whenever possible. I spent nine months roaming around Hawaii with not much more than that and another six months nomadically couch-surfing in New York City.

In addition to documenting our own experiences, I reached out to experts and writers who specialize in traveling the world carrying everything they need in a single bag. Eytan Levy is the owner and operator of the Snarky Nomad travel website, which combines travel guides and tips with in-depth gear reviews. James Feess is the founder of The Savvy Backpacker and author of The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide to Europe on a Budget . And Sharon Gourlay is the writer of the Where’s Sharon? travel website. I also spoke with moderators of Reddit’s r/onebag and r/heronebag forums, as well as with Chase Reeves, bag fanatic, reviewer, and owner of Matterful .

The shiny, one-piece back of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L on a tester's back

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L

A versatile small pack for a week or a weekend.

The Allpa’s clamshell design makes organizing your things simple. The strap design lets you easily wear this durable bag on your back or carry it in your hand while you’re on the move.

Buying Options

Get this if: You want an easy-to-organize, comfortable-to-carry bag with a rainfly for downpours or you want to support a B-corp and its related social and sustainable missions .

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L features an easy-to-pack clamshell design and highly adjustable straps that make it a great all-around bag for any traveler who’s dedicated to packing light, or for a smaller person who wants less to carry. Handles on all four sides of this bag make it easy to grab no matter where you’ve stowed it. It’s also protected by a full lifetime warranty and has the build quality to back that up. After more than four years of testing, this single backpack (plus a personal item ) has replaced nearly every travel bag or piece of luggage I use.

Cotopaxi also makes the Allpa in 28 - and 42 -liter sizes. But the 35 liter is, for us, the best. At 42 liters, this bag becomes heavy for most people to carry when its fully packed, and for a bag that big, we’d prefer that it had a more-robust hip belt. At 28 liters, the bag becomes a touch small for most people, and its internal organization feels fussy for any shorter trip, such as an overnight. Cotopaxi also makes a hip pack that’s designed to fit snugly into the Allpa’s front top compartment. It’s a neat little addition to the bag, and it is worth getting if you like wearing fanny packs while you travel.

The Allpa has a clamshell design, which means it opens like a hard-sided suitcase: A large YKK zipper runs around three sides of the bag, letting it fall open into two halves when unzipped. On the right side is a deep compartment, spacious enough for two large packing cubes or half a suitcase’s worth of clothes (which you access through a mesh zippered flap). On the left, there’s space for one more medium-size packing cube behind a zippered flap. Above that are two smaller pockets with high-visibility backing—useful when you’re looking for hard-to-differentiate personal items.

The Cotopaxi Allpa open to show the zip-up compartments on both the left and right sides filled with clothes, packing cubes, and other gear.

The Allpa’s hip belt, which can be removed while the bag is on your back, is substantial enough that it’s comfortable to wear when you need it. With or without the hip belt, the Allpa is decently comfortable over long distances. However, folks who have longer torsos (over 19 inches) may find that the waist belt sits a little high off the hips, unless you fully extend the shoulder straps. Speaking of, unlike the shoulder straps on our other picks, the Allpa’s straps are contoured to fit people who have large or small chests. It’s not a specifically gendered design, but our female tester noticed the improvement right away.

The Allpa has two side-access zippers—great for on-the-go access, especially when the bag is hanging from your shoulder. One of these reveals a flat computer pocket with a padded false bottom, so if you drop the bag, it won’t land on the corner of your computer; the other reveals a “secret” pocket with a hidden zipper and access to the main compartment. All of the main compartment zippers are protected by security loops, which you thread the zipper through at the end of its run. This prevents anyone from subtly or quickly grabbing a zipper and opening your bag when you aren’t paying attention.

The Allpa is made with 1680-denier ballistic nylon, similar to the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag or the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 . This feels similar to a strong canvas, but it has a more prominent weave. The Allpa is the kind of bag you can toss as easily into an overhead compartment as you can into the back of a rusty pickup truck. Uniquely in this category, the Allpa also includes a rainfly.

A person holding a gray Cotopaxi Allpa backpack in front of themselves by gripping the side handles.

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Allpa has a minimal amount of administrative organization—places to keep pens and papers, spaces to hold tickets, and so forth. This is where a good personal item comes in handy. However, if you want to travel with just this one bag, there are a few nooks you can hide things in. The front organizer is deep enough that you can also fit several small organizing pouches, if you want, or the aforementioned fanny pack.

Cotopaxi does enjoy playing around with fabrics and colors. Sometimes the company has released the Allpa without the TPU-lined front panel. The TPU panel improves water resistance, but we’ve found after many years of travel with our bag that the TPU layering can begin to flake in spots. We’d love to see the all-nylon option return at some point, for people who prefer the added robustness and don’t mind sacrificing a bit of rain coverage.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight: 3 pounds, 5 ounces Main compartment access: Clamshell opening Style: Adventurous Colors: Assorted

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts stands between a solid wooden fence and tall shrubs while wearing the 45 liter Peak Design Travel Backpack.

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L

An easily customizable large bag for long trips and expensive gear.

This bag was built with photographers in mind, but most travelers will appreciate its easy accessibility, clever tuck-away straps, and the elegant way the bag expands and contracts. The accessory cubes cost extra, though.

Get this if: You travel often with expensive camera gear and need easy access and many storage pockets, or you just prefer a backpack-based packing system with plenty of adaptability and customization.

Some bags in this category are built to do one thing extremely well—be luggage on your back. But the Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L is built to adapt. It’s the Swiss Army knife of backpacks: adjustable, customizable, and (if you spring for the extra cubes and organizers) an almost perfect system for a photographer or gearhead on the move. Most bags’ expanding mechanisms aren’t worth the extra zipper they’re built on, and they look about as attractive as a boiled ham splitting out of its plastic packaging. Not so with the Peak Design: It looks just as good fully packed at 45 liters as it does compressed to a 30-liter daypack.

You can access the bag through a back panel, which doubles as a computer and tablet pouch, as well as a front one, if you unzip the pass-through divider. You can also get into the main compartment via two wing-like trapezoidal flaps that run along each side of the pack. In its natural shape, the Travel Backpack holds 35 liters, but an expansion zipper lets the bag swell to 45 liters. If you want to use the bag as a daypack, you fold in the top corners and snap them down, reducing the bag’s volume to a slim 30 liters. It will still feel larger than a normal daypack in this configuration, but we think that’s a small compromise for being able to use one backpack as both your travel bag and your daily explorer. The bag itself consists of 400D nylon and polyester fabrics. It feels tough, but not as tough as some other bags we’ve tested, such as the Cotopaxi Allpa .

The Peak Design lets you tuck its shoulder and hip straps away when you’re not using them. But unlike any other bag we’ve ever tested, this pack has magnetic flaps on the back panel that open and close with an almost magical snap. Once you’ve played with them, you’ll wonder why every backpack doesn’t have something similar. A small, childish part of me still gets excited about tucking away the straps when I put the Peak Design into an overhead bin. Although the straps are thin, they’re comfortable. The hip belt isn’t quite as plush as the one on the Tortuga ; still, even when the Peak Design is fully loaded, the belt doesn’t pinch or dig into the body.

If you travel with a camera, you don’t have to use Peak Design’s camera cubes , but they do make carrying that gear a whole lot easier. The cubes come in three sizes, and if they’re situated properly in the bag with the provided clips, they line up with the Travel Backpack’s side-access flaps for quick access. Caleigh Waldman (the photographer for this piece and, full disclosure, my spouse) took this bag across the country for a wedding shoot. “I want this backpack,” she said after three weeks of travel. “I want to travel with it everywhere. With my cameras. Without my cameras. It doesn’t matter. I want to travel with it.”

Peak Design also makes a line of ultralight packing cubes . They’re good cubes, and they compare well to the ultralight Eagle Creek Pack-It Isolate Cube set, our pick for light packers . However, the Peak Design cubes are sized specifically for this bag and fit just so inside it, especially when combined with other Peak Design gear cubes and accessories, like the toiletry bag . (Chase Reeves has done an in-depth video review of these cubes; it’s a good resource for anyone who’s on the fence about buying them.) After testing the cubes (and this is not a mark against the Eagle Creek or the Peak Design ultralight cubes, both of which are excellent), I personally still prefer the more-rigid Eagle Creek Pack-It Reveal set, one of our longtime picks .

Flaws but not dealbreakers The Travel Backpack has few flaws. It is expensive—especially if you commit to the entire system of packing and camera cubes. The adjustable design and multiple zippers do add complexity, and complexity adds potential weaknesses. Peak Design covers all of its bags with a lifetime warranty , which should alleviate most people’s concerns. But if you’re particularly hard on your gear and still need to carry as much as possible, you might consider the Tortuga instead.

Capacity: 45 liters Weight: 4½ pounds Main compartment access: back-panel loader Style: minimalist and unobtrusive Color: Black, Sage

A person in a black jacket walks across a brick plaza while carrying the Topo Designs 30 liter travel bag over their shoulder with the optional shoulder sling. The bag is olive green with bright yellow and red accents.

Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L

Combines more organization with a simple interior.

This bag’s open interior makes packing easy. Those who travel for work will appreciate the Topo’s accessible front pockets and holders for organizing books, papers, and assorted miscellaneous items.

Get this if: You travel often for work and prefer a bag that’s much easier to work out of than most of our other picks. The front panel and assorted pockets are like a small traveling office space.

Of all the bags we recommend, the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L comes closest to the style of an everyday carry backpack, due to its small size and minimal external features. This bag is perfect if you have to travel to a work event, get off the plane, and then use it as a daily backpack without drawing too much attention to yourself. Topo also includes built-in attachment clips, if you want to piggyback a smaller daily-carry backpack to your Travel Bag. I know people who love to do this. I personally do not. But it’s a good feature, especially if you’re committed to Topo gear in general. However, given its basic strap system and flat nylon back, the Topo is not built as well as our other picks for longer hikes.

The Travel Bag is one of the simplest bags we tested, with a main compartment and some basic document organization in the front pocket. This bag is a front-panel loader (which we find very easy to pack), organized around a main pocket that can fit two large packing cubes. Inside, the lid of the bag also has two mesh dividers, for a small amount of organization. Outside, the bag has two small zippered pockets for travel accessories (such as earbuds and a passport) and a larger organizer pocket for books, tickets, and snacks. The Topo is constructed with heavy YKK zippers and, similar to the Cotopaxi Allpa, has built-in zipper security loops (strong loops of fabric that secure your zippers when the bag is shut), if you want a touch more security.

Similar to our other picks, the Travel Bag is backed by an excellent lifetime warranty and repair program from Topo. However, Topo’s gear is made from 1000D nylon (a dense and very tough fabric) and built like a tank; it has rigid padding throughout, and there is an attention to detail (particularly in the stitching around the zippers and handles) that’s a mark of quality to any savvy bag enthusiast. The point is, you would really have to get into some trouble to need the repair program. But it’s there if you do need it.

If you want to carry as much as possible, the Travel Bag also comes in a 40L model . It’s a fine bag at that size, and it does include a small yet stowable waist belt to help carry the weight. But we prefer our larger picks, like the Tortuga (more carrying capacity) or the eBags TLS Mother Lode (less expensive).

The Travel Bag has a built-in laptop compartment that fits most 15-inch laptops and is situated close to your back; this protects the computer and keeps its weight closer to your body. The Topo is well padded on all sides, and it is stitched in a way that keeps the edge of your computer from the bottom of the bag and should protect your computer from all but the worst drops. This bag, like most of Topo’s gear, is designed to work with Topo dopp bags , accessory bags , and packing cubes . Fully packed, it can carry two large packing cubes, two medium accessory bags, and a dopp kit.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Despite its travel-document organization, the Topo bag lacks the large internal pockets of our other picks, and the bag’s main compartment isn’t quite as spacious as that of our other picks. People who like a deeper main compartment might prefer the Cotopaxi or Tortuga bags. The Topo bag’s compartment is a little tight for large laptops, so it isn’t the best when going through security. We’d love to see a little more attention paid to the back contouring and straps of this bag, to make longer walks more comfortable.

Capacity: 30 liters Weight: 2 pounds, 10 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: retro Colors: Navy, Black, Clay, Charcoal, Olive

A tester from behind, wearing the Osprey Farpoint

Osprey Farpoint 40

For long distances on foot.

A great starter option for one-bag travel, the Farpoint is easy to pack, adaptable to most situations, and sturdy enough to take with you as you travel the world. And it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.

May be out of stock

travel vacation luggage

Osprey Fairview 40

For smaller torsos.

A scaled-down version of the Farpoint, the Fairview has shoulder straps that are slightly lower, to keep the bag’s bulk more aligned with smaller torsos.

Get this if: You’re starting out with one-bag travel and aren’t sure which style of bag is best for you, but you want one that’s easy to carry over long distances.

The Osprey Farpoint 40 is well made, easy to pack, and comfortable to carry over most mid-length distances—such as walking across a city for an afternoon. (For simplicity’s sake, everything we say here about the Farpoint applies to the Fairview as well.) Osprey makes excellent backpacks for hauling around, and its lifetime warranty is renowned within the industry . The Farpoint also has an optional messenger bag–style strap, which offers some flexibility when you’re maneuvering tight spaces like subways or crowded city centers.

If you’re just starting out with one-bag travel, or you aren’t sure what type of travel bag best suits your needs, the Farpoint is an excellent first choice.

The Osprey backpack opened to show its neon-green interior mesh pocket on one side and a bright red packing cube strapped in to the other side.

The Farpoint is easy to pack. Opening the bag reveals a clamshell design; it’s deep enough to accommodate most large items, without your having to fumble awkwardly with zippers once it’s time to close up the bag. The feeling you get is not unlike packing a bit of sturdy luggage, which is something we love about bags like this—especially when you pack with packing cubes . Osprey says this bag, when fully packed, can carry 40 liters. But after using the Farpoint for a few years, we’ve decided that its rounded shape seems to cut into that theoretical packable space more than other bags do. In practice, the available space in the Farpoint is closer to—but still less than—that of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Like all Osprey bags, the Farpoint has very comfortable shoulder straps. The years of design and consideration that Osprey has put into its line of hiking backpacks are quite evident in the Farpoint. After more than six years of long-term testing this bag, we’re still surprised by how great it feels to put on when it’s fully packed. Crucially, the straps of the Farpoint stow away neatly behind a zippered panel. However, when you’re using the shoulder straps, the design forces you to also use the hip straps. Though this isn’t a huge issue, if you prefer a sleeker look or would rather have the option of using shoulder straps without hip straps, the Cotopaxi Allpa is more flexible and lets you hide the waist straps while the bag is on your back.

A black Klean Kanteen water bottle in the mesh water bottle pocket of an aqua colored Osprey backpack.

As some reviewers have pointed out, smaller individuals may appreciate the lighter weight and more-compact design of the Farpoint or the Fairview (which basically have the same design, but the Fairview is made for someone with a more-diminutive torso). On both, the chest-strap clip is also equipped with a small security whistle that’s surprisingly loud. It’s a handy feature for anyone traveling in unfamiliar environments.

Flaws but not dealbreakers For a smaller carry-on travel backpack, this one has little not to like. However, we do wish Osprey would trade some of the sleeker contours for a little more interior space.

Capacity: 35 liters Weight (Farpoint): 3 pounds, 3 ounces Weight (Fairview): 3 pounds, 2 ounces Main compartment access: front-panel loader Style: active Colors (Farpoint): Gopher Green, Tunnel Vision Grey, Muted Space Blue, Black Colors (Fairview): Winter Night Blue, Zircon Red, Night Jungle Blue, Black

A traveler wearing a black backpack

Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L

A suitcase to carry on your back.

For dedicated single-bag travelers, this water-resistant, durable bag is easy to pack and to travel with. And it’s comfortable to wear over endless miles—as long as you don’t mind the heavier weight.

Get this if: You want to maximize your packing space in a bag that’s durable, customizable to fit most torso lengths (there’s also a 30L version ), and water-resistant, and that has organizational features to suit any digital nomad.

The Tortuga Travel Backpack 40L is built to occupy the maximum carry-on space available. It’s a nearly perfect blend of backpack and luggage. On the outside, its tear-resistant sailcloth and sealed zippers provide ample protection from sharp objects and the elements. Opening the main clamshell zipper reveals a cavernous interior and a few organizational features that make the bag a cinch to pack. The front panel is a particular standout, great for keeping track of electronics and chargers. Of all the bags we tested, the Tortuga strikes the closest balance between the carrying comfort of a hiking backpack and the space and organization of a piece of luggage.

When it comes to packing, the Tortuga has a soothingly minimal interior, as any good suitcase should. In addition to the bag’s cavernous main pocket, its interior lid has a large vented panel. The panel is too narrow to hold additional packing cubes, but it’s great for holding light jackets or doubling as a dirty-laundry bag (if you’re really committed to one-bag travel). The Tortuga is available as a 40-liter bag (the max space for a carry-on bag), which we tested, along with the 30-liter version, which is compliant with some intra-European flights. The more-diminutive version is a decent choice for weekend travel or for minimalist travelers—but for those uses, we prefer the space-saving profile and extra internal organization of the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

However, the Tortuga is the most adjustable bag we’ve tested five years in a row, thanks to its adjustable torso length, shoulder straps, and waist-belt system. The adjustable strap system lets you manipulate the location of the shoulder straps (video) to fit a wider variety of body sizes, in both the 30- and 40-liter versions. This design (with its included load-adjuster straps at the top, to prevent the bag’s weight from sagging toward your lumbar region) is the best of those we’ve tested at distributing the weight of the bag (4.5 pounds when empty—roughly a pound and a half more than most of our other picks, except the Peak Design.) The hip straps are removable if you need, but the shoulder straps are not stowable.

Flaws but not dealbreakers Some people, especially those who are hard on their gear, may consider not being able to remove or stow the Tortuga’s shoulder straps (as they can with our other picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa) a disqualifying factor. But after years of testing, traveling with, and occasionally checking our bag, we haven’t had an issue. Personally, it still makes me nervous to see the Tortuga traveling on the luggage belt toward mysterious machines and conveyors beneath the airport—all of which, in my imagination, are waiting to tear the hip belt from the bag or slice open the sailcloth exterior. But the Tortuga appears to shrug it all off with ease. However, if these mysteries beneath the airport also make you nervous, you might prefer our picks with easy-to-stow straps, such as the Peak Design Travel Backpack .

We’ve also fielded complaints from some testers that older models of this bag were too heavy for them to carry, even with the padded hip belt and adjustable straps. The additional padding does add weight. At 4.5 pounds, the new Tortuga is more than half a pound lighter than it used to be —the difference is noticeable—and it weighs the same as the equally large Peak Design . But if you feel like you would struggle carrying this model, we strenuously encourage you to consider one of our more-manageable picks, like the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L .

Capacity: 40 liters Weight: 4.5 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: minimal, with a rigid construction Color: black

A person in a gray tshirt and red shorts wears the eBags TLS Mother Lode while walking outdoors next to tall shrubs.

eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender

Affordable capacity and organization.

The Mother Lode offers the organizational features most travelers want, at an affordable price. However, it’s not as comfortable to carry as pricier options, and it can expand well past the limits of most overhead bins.

Get this if: You want an affordable bag with a traditional look, to carry as much as you can—potentially more than you’re allowed by airlines.

If you like the concept of the large Tortuga Travel Backpack but not its price, the eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender is a great option for infrequent travelers who are willing to give up some features, such as a decent hip belt. It’s not comfortable enough for trekking long distances on foot, but there are plenty of external pockets for organization, a laptop sleeve that holds the weight of your computer high up on your shoulders, and an easy-to-access main compartment. This bag also has the largest capacity of any of those we tested, expanding to 65 liters—well beyond any airline’s regulated 45-liter limit. However, the bag’s more-casual looks might not be to everyone’s taste.

The Mother Lode is a good suitcase built around a basic (if slightly underwhelming) backpack. That’s the tradeoff you make for its low price, which is less than half that of other models. Unlike our other picks, the Mother Lode is not for carrying over long distances, especially when it’s full. If you know you’re going to be walking long distances (say, over a mile or so) with your pack on, you might want to consider one of our other picks. That said, if you’re carrying your bag only from a taxi to the airport security line but you want to avoid checked-item fees, the Mother Lode might be the bag for you.

The best part of the Mother Lode is the interior layout: It is easy to pack, and it’s smartly organized but still adaptable enough to mold to your preferred style of packing (meaning you can find what you need when you need it). However, the intense design focus that’s evident in the interior of the bag seems to have slipped a bit when it came to the exterior. Compared with those of several other picks in this size, this bag’s slim straps and barely there hip belt are noticeably lacking, especially if you’ve maxed out the bag’s ludicrous capacity.

The clamshell opening of the Mother Lode is similar to the Tortuga’s or the Cotopaxi Allpa’s. This space is augmented by a separate front compartment and organization panel for quick access to mid-size items like a toiletry kit; a top compartment for keys, small books, or sunglasses; and a front pocket organizer for smaller flat items, like travel documents and wallets. The laptop pocket is large and well protected, and it has a strap to help secure and position your laptop’s weight higher up your back if you wish.

Flaws but not dealbreakers There are plenty of flaws with this bag, if you choose to see them as flaws instead of the necessary consequences of the Mother Lode’s inexpensive price. During testing, we packed as much into the Mother Lode as we did in the Tortuga (more, if we expanded the Mother Lode past strict carry-on dimensions). The problem with that much capacity? It becomes an absolute bear to carry. And the flimsy waist belt is almost useless at distributing weight across your hips. Several times during testing I considered just cutting it away. This is a shame, since the bag could go from “decent for the price” to “fantastic, especially at this price” with just a few upgrades.

Capacity: 45 liters (expandable to 65 liters) Weight: 4 pounds Main compartment access: clamshell opening Style: casual Colors: Eggplant, Garnet, Slate Blue, Heathered Graphite, Pine Green

If you want to travel like a backpacker but fit in at a board meeting (and have the budget to do so): Consider the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45 —its reputation for durability, adaptability, and a low-key aesthetic make it a favorite among many dedicated one-bag travelers, and after testing it, we think it’s a great bag too. That said, for the bag to really stand out against other backpacks, and to take full advantage of its carrying adaptability, you need to buy the $33 internal frame , the $33 hip belt , and (if you’re traveling with a suit or jacket) the $33 shoulder strap (all prices at the time of writing). This all adds up on a bag that already costs $330. Even though everything about the Tom Bihn (the fabric, the zippers, the quality of construction) feels like an upgrade from other bags, it’s simply too pricey, and its design is too rarified and specific for most people. The biggest flaw, from our perspective—apart from the price—is that the Tom Bihn lacks a dedicated laptop pocket. In its place, the company sells laptop sleeves (a fine version if you don’t have one) that clip into the bag’s central compartment. Not everyone needs a dedicated laptop pocket, but we prefer the more secure feeling of bags that do.

Anyone who wants to travel light and stay flexible should seriously consider using a carry-on travel backpack. For some people, the challenge of cutting down a packing list is intimidating. But if you can get past that initial hurdle, traveling with a single bag is a revelation. With fewer items, you have more time to concentrate on and appreciate the journey. It’s easy to remain more mobile when you’re not loaded down by heavy luggage and easier still to adjust your plans mid-trip. If you’re willing to do laundry on the road, then one bag is all you need to travel indefinitely. And as airlines charge more and more for checking baggage, traveling with just a carry-on bag (frequently referred to as one-bag travel ) is becoming less of a lifestyle choice and more of a survival skill. At its heart, one-bag travel allows you to discover more—not just about the places you’re going but about yourself and what you really need day to day.

If you desire more creature comforts or more gear, or if you plan to be away for a long time across multiple climates, you’ll want a bigger travel backpack . These larger bags are not carry-on-friendly, though, especially in Europe, so be prepared to check them. We also have a guide to wheeled carry-on bags , which are designed to hold a lot of stuff while remaining easy to maneuver around airports. However, wheels, retractable handles, and frames subtract from precious packing space and add weight, and can make a bag difficult to manage on busy city streets.

There’s no single backpack that is perfect for everyone. Before you make any purchase, consider some basic points. How much can you carry? And where do you usually visit: city or outback? Travel gear should feel like a welcome companion—there to support you when you need it, but unobtrusive when you do not. The best bags are built to survive a lifetime of use and, if cared for properly, should be something you develop a bond with over time.

To compile our list of possible models, we scoured the world of travel blogs and product reviews (most driven by a similar affiliate revenue model to ours), including The Savvy Backpacker , Snarky Nomad , The Travel Hack , Nomadic Matt , The Travel Tester , Where’s Sharon? , Y Travel Blog , Lengthy Travel , and GearLab . Additionally, we lurked on Reddit’s r/onebag  and r/heronebag forums, and emailed and had phone interviews with the moderators of those subreddits, Addison Ryan and Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, respectively. Additionally, we spoke with the prolific travel bag reviewer Chase Reeves to get his thoughts on what most great bags have in common. We ended up with a list of 60 candidates and then narrowed this list down to 22 finalists using the following criteria: capacity, compartment design, aesthetics, reviews, and reported comfort.

There isn’t one perfect bag to please everyone, but there are tools you can use to find what’s best for you. We did a lot of our own research to compare models of travel bags, but r/onebag moderator /u/-Nepherim created one of the best product-comparison spreadsheets we’ve seen . If you want to keep researching your own pick, this spreadsheet is a great place to start.

A graphic comparing 45-liter vs. 35-liter travel bags. The difference in size translates to fitting 4 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and a toiletry bag (45-liter) vs. 2 large packing cubes, 1 medium packing cube, and 1 small toiletry bag (35-liter)

Even if you aren’t convinced by our picks, we do think we can help you figure out what parameters are best for travel bags of any size. We’ve narrowed down our specifications to the following list of features, ordered from most to least relevant.

  • Panel-loading or clamshell opening for the main compartment: As with any good piece of luggage, with these bags, you want to be able to open them and see everything you’ve packed. A panel-loading or clamshell design—rather than a traditional top-opening design—lets you pack and unpack these bags just as you would a suitcase.

A graphic illustrating a clamshell bag opening

  • Backpack strap comfort and design: You never know when you’ll be walking farther with your bag than you’d intended. The more comfortable and well designed the straps, the easier traveling will be. “Ideally, you want a bag’s shoulder straps to adjust to the angle of your shoulders,” said Eytan Levy of Snarky Nomad. “Good shoulder straps are the difference between an easy trip and a hard trip.”
  • Hip belt comfort and design: A hip belt transfers heavy loads from your back and shoulders onto your hips, letting your legs—not your back—bear the brunt of the weight. Just having a waist belt is a plus, but having a padded and sculpted one—especially on bags with over 40 liters of volume—makes a world of difference.
  • Style: This is purely subjective. We preferred bags that had a minimalist exterior style, but not all of our picks will please everyone. Most of the people we spoke with, however, preferred not to stick out like a tourist wearing a large, colorful backpack, if they could avoid it.
  • Material quality: Durability is critical for any type of luggage, but especially for a backpack that will be your only bag. Most bags worth considering are made of nylon, which resists abrasion more than polyester fabrics of similar density. Spending more, however, can get you such exotic, light, and strong materials as Dyneema or sailcloth.
  • Weight: Once the bags arrived, we weighed each one ourselves. Most of the bags weighed within a few pounds of one another. But unless you’re very strict with yourself, by the time you’re packed for a two-week journey, all bags are going to feel equally massive, even if one is just 2 pounds heavier than another when empty.
  • Stowable straps: These are nice to have but aren’t absolutely necessary. “The more often you need to check a bag, the more often you need to hide away the straps,” Levy said. “But if the straps are tough enough, it doesn’t matter.”
  • Accessory pocket layout and design: Some people will love an accessory pocket that has a specific space for everything, while others may find that feature constricting and unadaptable. We prioritized simple designs that guided our packing without constraining us.

During testing, we flew with these bags across the country, took weekend trips to nearby cities, lived out of them on extended trips, and tried them locally in our daily routines. We also packed and unpacked each bag, using a standardized set of weeklong travel necessities and accessories, to see how well the internal organizational features (or lack thereof) aided or got in the way of efficient packing.

The Patagonia Black Hole MLC 45L has an updated design featuring a new hip belt, which brings it back into class with many of its competitors in this category. In the past, the MLC’s straps were too slim and unsupported for the bag’s 45-liter capacity. Also, its lack of any framing gave the bag a soft and unsettling feeling if it was anything but fully packed. We’re looking at the newest model to see if some of these problems have been corrected and if a former champion travel backpack can regain the spotlight.

Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack : This mind-bendingly inexpensive bag (which includes three packing cubes, all for $45 at time of publication) is a remarkable testament to the cutthroat logic and efficiency of a globalized free market. Is it attractive? No. Is it comfortable to carry? Not particularly. Is it durable enough to withstand years of travel? Unlikely. Is it $45? Yes! If you want the absolute least expensive carry-on travel backpack we’ve ever seen, this is it. But you’ll get more with the TLS Motherlode , which, although double the price, is still very affordable.

Away F.A.R. Convertible Backpack 45L : A rare miss from the Away team. This bag is resoundingly average for the price. Admittedly made of excellent materials, the bag is let down by its overall design, which lacks any kind of structure or attention to comfort. There are better options.

Cabin Max Metz (and the nearly identical AmazonBasics Carry-On ): This cheap, no-frills bag is enticing for the price. But after comparing these bags to the TLS Mother Lode, we think you’re better off paying twice the price for way more than twice the value. The Mother Lode is more reliable and built from stronger materials, and it will hold more stuff comfortably than either of these bags.

GeniusPack Travel Backpack: The GeniusPack is the only model we came across that tried to fit a suit into a travel backpack. Though some people might need this, we think those who have to travel with a suit (or clothes that require pressing) would be better off with a piece of carry-on luggage . (GeniusPack now has a version 2 of this bag, but our conclusion hasn’t changed.)

Goruck GR2 : I’m a big fan of Goruck bags, and I use the GR1 regularly as my daily work and travel bag. These bags will last a lifetime. However, the GR2 is too expensive and too large (its 40L size is a true 40L) for many people, especially since none of the three sizes (26L, 34L, and 40L) comes with a hip belt. We wish the GR2 had a removable hip belt, something similar to what’s on the GR3. That said, this bag is simple, sturdy, and stoic. There is a lot to love about it. And if you don’t mind the high cost, this bag will probably outlast your corporeal self.

Goruck GR3 : The GR3 is almost worth the cost for certain people. It’s strong and simple and covered by an iron-clad repair guarantee. The removable hip belt is comfortable to wear and good at displacing the weight of a 45-liter backpack. It’s a good bag. However, after testing it, we weren’t thrilled with the internal Velcro lining for compatible Velcro packing cubes. Velcro isn’t great: It wears out, is difficult to keep clean, and clings to dirt. That might seem like a small thing, but for the price, this bag should feel perfect.

Kelty Redwing 44 : When we got our hands on the Redwing, we realized that it was closer to a top-loading light camping backpack than to the panel-loading packs we tested. It didn’t quite fit the scope of this review because of its design.

Hynes Eagle 40L Flight Approved Carry-on : This pack is very similar pack to the eBags TLS Mother Lode and the Cabin Max Metz models. It might be useful as a weekend traveler, but we don’t think it would hold up for longer trips.

MEI Voyageur : There’s a lot to like about this bag, especially for the price. It features 1000D Cordura nylon and YKK zippers, and it has a spacious design and decent shoulder straps. But we’re still on the fence about recommending it. The lack of recent reputable reviews gives us pause, along with the sparse Shopify website, which, the last time we checked, in 2024, wasn’t operational. (The company now appears to be selling directly via PayPal.)

Minaal Carry-on 2.0: This bag was designed to be the absolute best travel backpack for business people. But if you’re a business person, you’re probably wearing at least a blazer, so you wouldn’t use a backpack in any case. Even so, if you’re a business traveler who falls more on the casual end of the business-casual spectrum, and you’re not on a budget, you should know that many travel writers have spoken highly of this bag, despite its high price. This does look to be a well-thought-out pack, but we think our picks are more versatile for world travel. (Minaal has since introduced a 3.0 version ; our thoughts about it remain the same.)

Osprey Porter 46: This was a slightly larger sibling of the Farpoint 40 . It’s about 2 inches longer, and it pushes right up to most airline limits. If you don’t mind possibly having to gate-check your bag at the last minute, this would have been an excellent alternative to the Farpoint 40. (It has since been replaced by the Osprey Sojourn Porter 46 ; we may take a look at it.)

Trakke Storr Carryon : Travel-bag enthusiast Chase Reeves used to list this bag as one of his top picks for a medium-size carry-on bag, and it looks very well built . But at $500, plus shipping from Scotland, it is simply too expensive for most people.

We also tested and dismissed The North Face Overhaul 40, which has since been discontinued.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Chase Reeves, , phone interview , October 10, 2018

Addison Ryan, moderator, r/onebag , email interview , September 8, 2018

Lindsay Lorraine Calderón, moderator, r/heronebag , phone interview , September 28, 2018

Meet your guide

travel vacation luggage

Kit Dillon is a senior staff writer at Wirecutter. He was previously an app developer, oil derrick inspector, public-radio archivist, and sandwich shop owner. He has written for Popular Science, The Awl, and the New York Observer, among others. When called on, he can still make a mean sandwich.

Further reading

A graphic displaying on the left, a person wearing a backpack with the straps higher than the bag on their back, the incorrect way of wearing a backpack, and on the right, a person wearing a backpack with the straps and the bag at an even height, the correct way of wearing a backpack.

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Here are the secrets to avoiding back pain while rocking a backpack, including the best way to load it up and how to adjust your straps.

Three of our favorite backpacks, totes and duffle bags on display

Wirecutter’s Favorite Bags, Totes, Backpacks and Carryalls

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For trips ranging from a week to multiple months, the Osprey Farpoint 55 and Fairview 55 carried everything we needed comfortably.

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15 of the Best Travel Bags You Need for Your Next Vacay

Author image: purewow author

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here .

Whether you’re a first-time or frequent flyer, the right bags can mean all the difference. Is your carry-on too big? Is your dop kit leak-proof? Is there enough room in your purse for all-day adventure? To help you get ready to take off—and thereafter—we went ahead and compiled a list of 15 of the best travel bags around, from hard-shell and soft-shell suitcases to weekend duffles and toiletry bags . So get those passports ready and read on to find your next favorite travel bag. Bon voyage!

How To Choose The Best Travel Bag

Domestic vs. International Travel Carry-Ons

We know that you’ve probably gotten away with taking a suitcase that definitely was not regulation carry-on size. Typically, domestic flights are a bit more lenient with your luggage dimensions, but a good rule of thumb for domestic flights is to make sure your carry-on bag fits within 22-inches by 14-inches by 9-inches. This size ensures that your bag—along with everyone else’s—is going to fit in the bins overhead on your flight. If you’re flying internationally however, these airlines are more likely than not going to be stricter. We suggest finding a carry-on that is 20 inches or shorter to take on your international flights. And always check with your airlines.

Soft Shell vs. Hard Shell Luggage

If you’re a no-fuss kind of traveler, a soft-shell suitcase is for you. They’re able to withstand a bit more wear and tear whether you’re taking it glamping or stuffing it in the overhead compartment. On the other hand, if you are packing items that need some added protection (think: a pair of heels you don’t want to break or a beloved designer bag), we suggest going with a hard-shell suitcase so that none of your valuables sustain any damage.

Two-Wheel Luggage vs. Four-Wheel Luggage

If you have ever been down-to-the-last-second late for a flight and almost missed it because you had to drag your heavy suitcase behind you, we suggest you get a spinner suitcase. A spinner has four wheels, which tend to be multidirectional, helping you not only have full control over your bag, but also allowing you to comfortably glide your luggage alongside of you as you maneuver through security to your gate. On the other hand, two-wheeled suitcases typically have wheels that are inside of the main compartment and required being tilted on their side to drag through the terminal.

Best Travel Bags At A Glance:

  • Best Overall: Calpak Hue Luggage
  • Best Checked Travel Bag: Béis Check-In Roller
  • Best Carry-On Travel Bag: Away The Carry-On
  • Best Backpack Travel Bag: Rains Waterproof Backpack
  • Best Duffle Travel Bag: Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag
  • Best Laptop Travel Bag : Lo & Sons The Seville Aire Tote
  • Best Purse Travel Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage Travel Bag
  • Best Eco-Friendly Travel Bag: Paravel Aviator
  • Best Soft Shell Travel Bag: Yeti Crossroad Luggage
  • Best Travel Bag Set: Samsonite 3-Piece Luggage Set
  • Best Budget-Friendly Travel Bag: Amazon Basics Spinner Suitcase
  • Best Splurge-Worthy Travel Bag: Rimowa Cabin Suitcase
  • Best Toiletry Travel Bag: Everlane The ReNew Catch-All Case
  • Best Weekend Travel Bag: Baboon to the Moon Small Go-Bag
  • Best Customizable Travel Bag: Roam the Jaunt

9 Best Travel Pants (Tested by Our Comfort-Obsessed Staff)

calpak suitcase

1. Calpak Hue Luggage

Best Overall

She’s sleek, she’s stylish and she has a little bit of everything: A TSA-approved lock that keeps your valuables safe in transit, multi-directional wheels for back-ache-free transportation, interior compartments for peak organization, a large front pocket to stow any essentials you need in close reach and a price tag that won’t make too big a dent on your checking account.

beis suitcase

2. Béis Check-in Roller

Best Checked Travel Bag

You get to the airport, lift your suitcase onto the scale, stare in horror as the red numbers flash “58 lbs” and proceed to spend the next five minutes on the floor, suitcase open, stuffing as much as you can into a spare bag. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. So while this bag has all of your usual perks, the red light that turns on to indicate it's over the 50-pound weight limit makes this guy unbeatable as a checked suitcase.

away carry on hard shell suitcase

3. Away The Carry-on

Best Hard Shell Suitcase

This is one of our tried-and-tested favorites. We love how protective its sleek styled shell is and it earns extra points for having a security lock for extra safety. Plus, it has a USB charging port so no more desperately searching for an outlet that’s close to your gate.

rains waterproof backpack

4. Rains Waterproof Backpack

Best Travel Backpack

This is made of durable, waterproof neoprene and has enough room to fit all your gadgets and gizmos. Bonus points for its hidden back pocket to help keep your valuables safe and secure.

dagne dover duffle

5. Dagne Dover Landon Carryall Bag

Best Duffle Travel Bag

Whether you’re taking this by bus, train or plane, this duffle’s expandable design offers ample room so you’ll have a spot for literally everything. Case in point: the pocket specifically made for holding your phone and interior compartments for storing water bottles, shoes and everything else in between.

lo and sons laptop bag

6. Lo & Sons The Seville Aire Tote

Best Laptop Travel Bag

Cushioned padding protects the thing most precious to you: your laptop. Plus, the thoughtful pockets keep things organized while you're on the go—no more franticly digging through your bag for your AirPods for a Zoom you have to join in two minutes.

longchamp purse

7. Longchamp Le Pliage Travel Bag

Best Purse Travel Bag

This cutie is going to keep you looking stylish whether you’re grabbing after-work drinks or jet-setting to Europe. It’s the ideal size if you’re searching for a style-savvy carry-on that can easily stow your laptop alongside other daily essentials and makes for a roomy tote even when you’re not using it for travel.

paravel suitcase

8. Paravel Aviator

Best Eco-Friendly Travel Bag

Looking to get your hands on a sustainably sourced option? This fashion-forward carry-on may be easy on the eyes, but it's entirely made up of recycled material—from the interior lining and exterior polycarbonate shell to the zippers.

yeti suitcase

9. Yeti Crossroad Luggage

Best Soft Shell Travel Bag

Yes, Yeti delivers some of the best on-the-go travel mugs, but did you know Yeti produces some stellar luggage, too? This one in particular is especially worth the investment, thanks to its durable hard-shell exterior, 70/30 split dividers for keeping all your things secure, packing cubes for added organization and front pocket for stashing all the things you need to keep within close reach.

samsonite suitcase set

10. Samsonite 3-piece Luggage Set

Best Travel Bag Set

Durable hard shell? Check. Spinner wheels? Check. Three different sizes? Also check. This set comes in three different sizes, with one carry-on and two checked size suitcases.

amazon basics suitcase

11. Amazon Basics Spinner Suitcase

Best Budget-Friendly Travel Bag

Luggage is notoriously expensive, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t budget-friendly options out there to help you glob trot and save some money. Case in point: Amazon Basics’ travel bag line. This one in particular caught our eye, thanks to the durable hard shell, multiple packing compartments, TSA-approved lock and array of pretty colors.

rimowa suitcase

12. Rimowa Cabin Suitcase

Best Splurge-Worthy Travel Bag

Before luggage brands started producing aluminum suitcases by the dozen, there was this one. The first of its kind, the Rimowa Cabin Suitcase’s iconic silver exterior is made from anodized aluminum and built with ball-bearing mounted wheels. Translation: this durable workhorse is going to last you for years to come.

BUY IT ($1,200)

everlane toiletry bag

13. Everlane The Renew Catch-all Case

Best Toiletry Travel Bag

Don’t be fooled, this toiletry bag might not be massive, but it can fit way more than you think. It’s got interior pockets to keep products nice and tidy, low maintenance fabric that’s easily cleaned and an expandable design that can handle being packed to the max with your skincare and beauty goodies.

baboon to the moon small go bag

14. Baboon To The Moon Small Go-bag

Best Weekend Bag

We love this guy for more reasons than we can list. Not only is it TSA-approved for carry-on size, but its water-proof shell has backpack straps, different sized handles, an over-the-shoulder strap, a lockable zipper, comes with four different pockets and easily stashes three-to-five day’s worth of your gear.

roam the juant suitcase

15. Roam The Jaunt

Best Customizable Travel Bag

If your goal is to avoid mixing up your suitcase with someone else's, having a personalized travel bag is where it’s at. From the option to monogram the exterior shell down to custom colors you can select from, you can personalize this puppy in a myriad of ways for luggage that matches your vibe perfectly.

The 17 Best Luggage Brands For Your Long-Overdue Trip

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Commerce Editor

More stories you'll love.

14 Best Luggage Brands of 2024

Top-tested suitcases for every type of traveler.

away luggage labor day sale 2023

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Our top picks:

Best overall luggage: samsonite.

  • Best Value Luggage : American Tourister

Best Carry-On Luggage: Away

Best luggage for frequent flyers: hartmann, best fashion luggage: calpak.

  • Best Under-$100 Luggage : Amazon Basics

Best Luggage for Long Trips: L.L.Bean

Best luggage for international travel: briggs & riley, best luggage for adventure travel: eagle creek, best luggage for flight crews: travelpro, best budget hardside luggage: open story.

  • Best Classic Hardside Luggage : Rimowa

Best Minimalist Luggage: Monos

  • Best Printed Luggage : Heys

We put each case through its paces in the Lab by evaluating factors like abrasion and scratch resistance, water resistance, weight and size, ease of use and durability. We also pack each bag with a standard load to compare compartments and see how much it can hold. Then we bring in consumer testers to use the luggage on an obstacle course and give feedback on aspects like handle comfort, wheel performance and maneuverability.

At the end of this article, you'll find more information about how we test luggage and helpful tips to consider as you shop. But first, here's everything you need to know about our top-tested luggage brands.

Best Carry-On Luggage | Best Checked Luggage | Best Hardside Luggage | Best Duffel Bags | Best Underseat Luggage | Best Luggage on Amazon | Best Kids' Luggage | Best Smart Luggage | Best Travel Backpacks | Best Packing Cubes | Best Luggage Trackers | Best Travel Gear

best luggage brands samsonite luggage

Samsonite earns our top spot for the best luggage brand because it has a wide assortment for every preference — from business travelers to vacationers — and has continuously proven to be high quality as we've tested it over the years. In particular, it stands out for its durability and ease-of-use features: There's been no struggling to open and close the cases, and packing them has been a breeze thanks to the functional compartments that maximize space. It's certainly not inexpensive, but as direct-to-consumer luggage brand prices have skyrocketed, Samsonite's have remained fairly consistent.

Both hardside and softside styles from the brand have excelled in our tests. We've also been impressed by each of the sizes, including carry-ons, checked bags and underseat luggage. Some of our favorite models (pictured here) include the Solyte DLX softside carry-on , the Freeform hardside carry-on and the Stryde Glyder checked bag , which makes the case wide instead of long so it's less likely to tip over.

best luggage brands samsonite luggage testing at good housekeeping

Best Value Luggage: American Tourister

best luggage brands american tourister


If you're on a budget or you don’t use luggage regularly — i.e., it doesn’t need to be the most durable and you don’t need all the bells and whistles — American Tourister offers competitive pricing and an excellent variety to choose from . There are lots of options if you prefer bright colors and fun prints, plus there are cases for the entire family, including a Disney collection . Ideal especially for vacationers, the models are fun and functional between the designs and versatile offerings.

Just note that while luxury hardside cases are usually made of polycarbonate, American Tourister typically uses ABS plastic, which is more affordable but more prone to scratches. Still, it gets high ratings from online reviewers who note that the bags are surprisingly spacious. Another perk: The brand offers luggage sets for an even better value, especially if you need to purchase multiple pieces.

best luggage brands away luggage carry on


Away is one of the most popular luggage brands on the market, and our testing shows it's actually worth the price. Though the brand has a wide range of offerings, we especially love the hardside carry-on. It's made of 100% polycarbonate that proved to be durable and lightweight in our evaluations — even lighter than some fabric bags we’ve tested. It was also surprisingly spacious and held a full packing load in our review. The company offers a 100-day return policy on unused items; it also offers a lifetime limited warranty on its suitcases that covers any "functional damage."

Besides the main Carry-On model , it comes in variations like a Bigger Carry-On (which the brand says can hold 20% more), a Carry-On Flex (which has an expandable zipper) and a Carry-On with Pocket (which gives you an outside compartment).

READ OUR FULL REVIEW: We Tested Away's Most Popular Carry-On to See If It's Worth the Hype

an empty away carry on laid open flat on a white table, good housekeeping's luggage review

This luxury brand is on the pricey side but has timeless designs — from hardside to tweed fabric — that never go out of style. In fact, the brand’s marketing and aesthetics are focused heavily on its heritage. It has been a top performer in our tests thanks to its spacious interior that's easy to pack and its wheels and handles that make it smooth and comfortable to maneuver.

One of our top-tested Hartmann models is the Vigor, which comes in three sizes. It earned high scores across the board — especially standing out for being scratch-resistant, lightweight and spacious — and outperformed even pricier styles, so you know you’re getting a good bang for your buck.

best luggage brands calpak luggage


Style is certainly important when it comes to luggage — it's an accessory, after all — but you don't want to sacrifice quality and functionality. Calpak's cases are both well-made and have unique designs. Though its assortment is tailored with fewer models than some of the big brands, Calpak still has a wide range of materials to choose from, including sleek hardside polycarbonate, printed ABS/polycarbonate blends and ripstop polyester.

Calpak's Ambeur carry-on was one of our testers' favorites in a recent review, with users especially loving the easy-to-use telescopic handle. We also found it to be easy to pack and loved its metallic color. Though it wasn't as scratch-resistant as some others we tested (which is expected for ABS composites), it still withstood dents and damage from our durability drop test.

Best Under-$100 Luggage: Amazon Basics

best luggage brands amazon basics luggage

It’s hard to find good luggage for under $100, but Amazon’s luggage does not disappoint. There are softside and hardside styles to choose from, plus garment bags , duffels and more. Amazon also boasts extensive testing to make sure it’ll hold up, and though it might not be the absolute best quality out there, the price can’t be beat.

We most recently reviewed the hardside spinner carry-on , which our analysts found to be exceptionally easy to pack, though the ABS material wasn't as scratch-resistant as other models in our tests. Still, testers liked the maneuverability and wheel performance. This case comes in three sizes and can also be purchased as a two- or three-piece set.

best luggage brands - l.l.bean luggage


If you’re going away for weeks or just have lots to pack, L.L.Bean’s duffels are roomy enough to stuff in everything you need. There are options with or without wheels and lots of sizes to choose from (the extra-large bag is incredibly durable and one of our go-to picks for vacations with kids ).

The flexible shape of the duffel also allows it to store easily under your bed, so it’s perfect for college students or anyone tight on storage space. It’s also made of sturdy, water-resistant nylon fabric that's made to last no matter where your travels take you — in fact, one of our pros says it's lasted for years without signs of wear.

best luggage brands briggs and riley

Briggs & Riley bags are pricey — a carry-on can cost over $600 — but they come with a lifetime guarantee that will cover all repairs if the luggage ever gets broken or damaged. They also come with innovative features, such as the brand's signature compression packing system. Bags that have this feature expand to let you pack and then compress down after they're filled. In fact, one of our testers said she packed a week's worth of summer clothes for two people into a compact carry-on, and it easily fit into an airline's overhead bin.

The suitcases also use top-notch construction and timeless designs in a range of styles, including hardside, softside, carry-ons and checked bags. The Baseline Global Carry-On Spinner was named a winner in Good Housekeeping's 2023 Family Travel Awards after travel testers gave it perfect scores across the board. Its nylon fabric aced our Lab's abrasion tests.

best luggage brands - eagle creek luggage

Whether you’re backpacking internationally or exploring a national park, Eagle Creek gives you both the convenience and durability you need in a bag. Some have various compartments so you can stay organized (or store shoes and dirty laundry separately), and some bags have backpack straps if you need to be hands-free.

We especially love the Cargo Hauler Duffel for shorter trips: It’s affordable, spacious, lightweight and folds up into a small pouch for easy storage. For longer getaways, the Migrate Wheeled Duffel is larger and has two wheels with a telescopic handle. It also opens wide so you can easily access the contents.

best luggage brands how good housekeeping tests luggage

This company was founded by a pilot, and it makes luggage specifically for airline personnel who travel for a living. Still, it's just as functional for business and leisure travelers. The brand primarily sells softside luggage, though it does have some hardside options available. There’s excellent attention to detail that makes frequent flying easier, like cushioning around the handles for comfort, self-aligning wheels that let you roll the luggage in any direction and abrasion-resistant nylon fabric.

The Platinum Elite softside luggage, in particular, stood out in our Lab tests. Not only was it super durable, but it was also spacious enough to hold our entire load with room to spare. The downside was that it was heavier than others, but it's a fair trade-off for the top-of-the-line features.

best luggage brands - open story luggage

Hardside cases made of 100% polycarbonate can cost several hundred dollars, but this Target-exclusive brand offers top-performing polycarbonate suitcases at a lower cost than its competitors. The carry-on size is just $170 and was lightweight and spacious in our review with lots of compartments to stay organized. This smart luggage even comes with a detachable laundry bag and a USB port in case you want to add a battery to charge on the go. The checked size is $210, and both sizes come in a variety of metallic colors.

Testers also loved using these suitcases, giving them high scores for being easy to maneuver. The one downside they noted was that the telescopic handle didn't feel as comfortable as others, but it still beat dozens of models in our performance tests.

best luggage brands open story luggage testing at good housekeeping

Best Classic Hardside Luggage: Rimowa

best luggage brands rimowa


Rimowa has always been at the cutting edge of luggage materials and made the first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000. It only makes hardside luggage but has several different collections ranging from the Essential Lite , which is the lightest and least expensive, to the Original , which is made of durable aluminum and has clever packing compartments.

The brand is expensive — the cheapest case is over $600! — but its polycarbonate spinner was among the best in our test based on its weight, packing space, durability and maneuverability. Make sure to check the handles on the case before you buy to ensure it suits your needs. Some of the most lightweight options have a T-shaped handle, which isn't as comfortable to pull for long periods.

best luggage brands monos


Monos says its design philosophy is "less is more," — meaning the bags are made to be simple and timeless to avoid passing trends , and high quality so they can stand the test of time. Most of its hardside bags are entirely polycarbonate, though some combine polycarbonate and aluminum for increased durability. They also have useful packing features like wide compression straps to help you fit more in the case.

The Check-In Large was a winner of GH's 2023 Family Travel Awards thanks to its super spacious interior and maneuverability. Testers said it was easy to roll and they loved the sleek appearance. It's also worth noting that the brand has a 100-day return period so you can get a refund if it's not a good fit.

a group of blue luggage

Best Printed Luggage: Heys

best luggage brands heys america luggage

This brand increases the fun factor and makes it easier to spot your luggage in a sea of solid colors. There are adorable animal sets for kids' luggage , animal prints for adults and more. There are also options for licensed teams and art , making your suitcase a fun yet functional accessory.

When it comes to materials, most Heys suitcases are hardside and made of polycarbonate and ABS composite. This means it's mostly ABS plastic but has a polycarbonate coating on the outside for added protection. The brand wasn't the most durable in our tests, it but earned high ease of use scores.

How we test luggage


Our luggage evaluations are conducted in the Good Housekeeping Institute's Textiles Lab and combine proprietary test methods using specialized equipment with an obstacle course for consumer testers to navigate. Each piece of luggage is reviewed for the following factors:

Headshot of Lexie Sachs

Lexie Sachs (she/her) is the executive director of strategy and operations at the Good Housekeeping Institute , where she researches, tests and reports on fabric-based products ranging from sheets, mattresses and towels to bras, fitness apparel and other clothing. She also evaluates luggage, rain gear, disposable paper goods and baby products. Lexie has more than 15 years of experience in the textiles industry and a degree in fiber science from Cornell University. Prior to joining GH in 2013, she worked in merchandising and product development in the fashion and home industries.

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The Perfect Luggage for Avoiding Airport Chaos Is Here

Because stress-free travel starts with having the right gear.

best luggage brands to buy

But choosing the best luggage is not always as easy as it seems. The variety of options on the market can make shopping for a new large suitcase or carry-on feel like driving through a dark tunnel without a navigation system. This guide here on the best luggage brands will help shine a little light on your trek, aiding you in choosing the right luggage for your budget.


Best Overall Luggage Brand


The Close Second


The Frequent Favorite


Best Investment Luggage Brand


Best Softside Luggage Brand


Best Luggage Sets

Peak Design

Best Luggage for Hauling Gear

Peak design.


Best Luggage for Apple AirTag Users

Eagle Creek

Best Adventure Luggage Brand

Eagle creek.


Best Luggage for Minimalist Travelers

Which brand of suitcase i s best.

The editors and writers at Men's Health are constantly on the go. From working assignments in LA to taking tropical vacations in Madeira, we make it a point to test all the best luggage brands in our adventures. Over the past four years alone, we've tested well over 40 different luggage brands to find the perfect piece. Here, we bring you the 17 best luggage brands of 2024 in one clean list, with Samsonite commanding our top spot of the best luggage brand overall due to the brand's outstanding durability, clean design, and wallet-friendly price.

No matter if you’re looking for a one-size-fits-all bag or an entire luggage set, these are the best luggage brands on the market that will get you cruising without the stress of schlepping some raggedy old case. Ready to see the list?

Travel Awards | Best Travel Gadgets | Best Travel Shoes | Best Travel Pillows | Best Travel Pants | Best AirTag Wallets

Price Point ($-$$$): $ | Hardside or Softside: Both | Warranty: 10 years

Samsonite makes the best affordable suitcases and luggage sets in our eyes. While the brand is in just about every major department store, the best place to buy Samsonite luggage is on Amazon. The retailer carries some of Samsonite's highest-rated products that won't burn a hole in your wallet. You can score an entire hard-sided set for under $300 or shop the brand's durable nylon singles . The items might not be as feature-loaded and reinforced as some of the other brands, but you will be surprised at how far your luggage will go before you need replacing.

When asking Justin Crabbe , the CEO of Jettly, a private jet charter service, about his go-to luggage brand, he mentioned Samsonite as one of the most well-priced and reliable brands that come to mind. "With lightweight yet durable material, superior design, and multiple compartments for packing with ease, it is a traveler’s dream come true," says Crabbe.

Our Senior Gear and Commerce Editor, John Thompson, always seems to find himself traveling with Samsonite too. " Time and time again I think I need to upgrade my luggage, and then I come back to my softside Samsonite carry-on I've held onto for over 5+ years," he says. " It [my carry-on] has been my companion with me through many adventures, from high altitude camping trips in Colorado to overseas adventures in countries like China and Germany." Thompson also notes his Samsonite's all-black fabric body has resisted scratches and marks over time, which makes it suitable for business trips as a clean piece that will blend in among the other bags—and not stand out for being all mangled and disheveled.

Read more: Viral TikTok Travel Essentials

Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Both | Warranty: Lifetime

You must be living under a rock if this is your first time hearing about the magic that is Away luggage. The simple-yet-modern design makes you actually love to carry the brand's bags. Away's claim to fame comes from the brand's built-in battery packs that can power up your devices. Our Fashion Director, Ted Stafford, is a huge fan of Away due to the brand's attention to detail in the design process. " The interior of the suitcase has a streamlined design, which offers ample space to fit all your necessary items in an uncluttered and organized way ," says Stafford. " Plus, Away’s suitcases are extremely lightweight, so you can easily maneuver to and from your destination without pulling your muscles or overexerting unnecessary energy—to me, that kind of ease is invaluable at a price that’s very fair.”

The carry-on sizes come in a traditional option and a bigger carry-on for certain airlines that allow it. The brand also innovated on its hard-sided luggage collection, and now makes a full line of soft-sided durable ballistic nylon and outer pocket additions.

Read more: Long Flight Essentials

Price Point ($-$$$): $ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: 10 years

What would the best luggage guide be without TravelPro? The legacy brand has been a longtime favorite of frequent travelers, soft luggage fans, and, yes, even pilots and flight attendants. TravelPro sets are wallet-friendly and its bags are constructed with function in mind (we especially love how durable the 360-wheels and handles are on its pieces).

Nadia Podrabinek , a travel writer and founder of Why This Place, is a huge fan of her expandable soft side Travelpro carry-on due to the high quality of design for an affordable price. "The lightweight construction that does not sacrifice on quality, allowing you to travel with peace of mind; and the four-wheel spinner design makes maneuvering through airports easy, while numerous pockets help keep your items organized," Podrabinek says.

Travelpro might not be the most flashy brand, but there's a reason so many travel writers (and flight attendants) love the brand.

Read more: Best Men's Clothing Brands

Price Point ($-$$$): $$$ | Hardside or Softside: Both | Warranty: 5 years

Tumi is for the slick traveler on the move that appreciates design as much as they do function. The longtime brand founded back in 1975 makes sure every new piece of luggage helps aim to solve common travel qualms. Tumi's carry-on bags and backpacks are made with several easy-access zippered compartments to help breeze through TSA lines, and the brand's add-a-bag sets are designed to lug around two to three bags at one time with one hand.

Adam Mansuroglu, a former Style & Commerce Editor at Men's Health is a Tumi fan. "I've had my Tumi 19 Degree carry-on case for a few years now ; and whenever I want to feel a bit fancier and pretend like I live that jet-set life, I make sure to carry that silver stunner," Mansuroglu says. " I t not only looks sleek and stylish—it can hold a surprising amount of shoes for a fashion editor who can't seem to ever travel light."

It's no secret Tumi is one of the more expensive luggage brands around, but if can pony up the investment you'll be happy knowing you'll have a sleek bag that's going to last you for many years to come.

Read more: Best Dopp Kits

Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: 3 years

Calling all gearheads. If you're an adventure traveler, Yeti has your back (literally, with the brand's first Crossroads backpack series). In this line of luggage, you'll find dry bags for white water rafting, carryalls, and classic rolling luggage and duffels that can withstand just about anything without showing much wear and tear. These bags are made for utility and function with a willingness to get tossed around and dirty with an easy clean.

Due to the tough construction of Yeti luggage, it's no wonder the bags have become a favorite for adventure tourists in the past few years. Geordie Mackay-Lewis , co-founder of Pelorus , a bespoke agency that plans exotic travel and yacht experiences, loves to pack Yeti bags for client excursions. " For our more adventurous trips, we pack our soft and fully waterproof Yeti bags, which can easily be thrown into a RIB or helicopter ," Mackay-Lewis says. " They also have great camera bags, which we’ve been using on client trips and reconnaissance missions for years."

It's worth mentioning only some of the Yeti bags are completely waterproof, but most are water-resistant.

Read more: Best Backpacks for Men

Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Hardside | Warranty: 5 years

Calpak’s popularity is right up there with AWAY, but a major difference is the organizational approach of each brand. Almost all of Calpak's luggage has separate sleeves for shoes, zip pockets for smaller items, compartments for magazines, and straps to hold it all in place. Plus, they make some of the best matching luggage sets around, including a full line of accessories that make packing easier.

Christen Nicole , a FORA Travel Advisor and travel blogger, told us the Astyll 3-Piece Set has been her current go-to for travels for the past two years. " I've loved how the polycarbonate shell has kept my belongings secure, and how the spacious interior pocket dividers have kept everything in its place," Nicole says. When it comes to naming her favorite bag in the set, she finds the carry-on to be the best piece overall due to its combination of generous space (up to 45 liters) with a light build (6 pounds in weight).

If you're someone who has to frequently sit on your suitcase to close it, then opting for Calpak will help turn you into an efficient packing pro. The brand's packing cubes and organizers are excellent at categorizing items, and the suitcases are deep and roomy.

Read more: Most Comfortable Hoodies

Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: Lifetime

Smart, sexy, and functional as heck, are three words we'd describe Peak Design luggage. The West Coast-based brand originally started in making camera equipment—like carbon fiber tripods—but over time started venturing into camera bags, then everyday bags, then actual travel bags. Products like the Travel Backpack and Travel Duffel offer durable, water-resistant protection for everything from clothes to electronics.

We love how Peak Designs keeps things simple for the look of each bag, making sure to omit tacky logo placements and over-the-top colors, and instead go with a classic all-black look, plus a few natural color combinations on some specific bags.

Samara's luggage pieces are as sleek and stylish as they come. And while they look beautiful from a design standpoint, the one area that deserves recognition is their high level of functionality. We're talking about a strong aluminum frame, 360-degree spinner wheels, and telescopic handles. Plus, all Samsara luggage comes with Tag Smart, which is a unique design configuration made in the luggage to allow for easy placement of your Apple AirTag.

Our Senior Gear and Commerce Editor, John Thompson, likes to use his Samsara carry-on whenever he wants to switch over to a hardshell suitcase. "Right now, there's no other brand making such a well design AirTag holder for keeping tabs on its suitcase," Thompson says.

We also found the built-in portable charger is easy to pop out and use, and it works great when powering bigger electronics like laptops and over-ear headphones .

Read more: Best AirTag Wallets

Eagle Creek is known for its no-nonsense and affordable gear that caters to outdoor adventurers. The brand makes some of the best dang packing cubes one could buy, and if you follow up the product ladder you'll land on the different luggage pieces those very cubes can be stored inside. Eagle Creek makes only soft luggage, but the materials are often super tear resistant and the designs offer lots of utility and opportunity for smarter configurations of how to store everything from clothes and hiking essentials to camera gear.

Jackson Groves , travel photographer, adventurer, and founder of the travel blog, told us his personal favorite Eagle Creek bag is his Gear Warrior roller suitcase. " The Gear Warrior's rugged construction and water-resistant materials ensure that my belongings stay safe and protected even in challenging environments; and its spacious main compartment and multiple interior and exterior pockets offer ample storage space for all my essentials, allowing me to stay organized on the go," Groves says. " The durable wheels and retractable handle make maneuvering through airports, trails, and uneven terrain a breeze."

What we love the most about Eagle Creek is they have a no questions asked warranty policy, so if something were to get damaged on your travels, the brand will make sure either repair or replace your bag.

Read more: Best Camping Essentials

Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: Lifetiime

Osprey makes a number of trusted duffle bags and backpacks that are suitable for minimalist travelers and adventure junkies. The brand shines brightest in its travel backpack offerings. Yes, the packs work amazing for actually backpacking, but due to Osprey's commitment to loading its products with tough materials and premium features—like carrying belts and smart pocket configurations—we've found the backpacks work seriously good for fast weekend getaway trips, no serious outdoor adventuring required.

Scott Cundy, Founder of Wildland Trekking and Intrepid Travel Director of Marketing, The Americas, swears by his Osprey Aether Plus 100 for everything from wilderness backpacking to conventional travel. " It has fantastic capacity at about 6,000 cubic inches, is durable, has an extremely robust hip belt which keeps the weight off my shoulders, and any great pockets," says Cundy. "M y favorite feature of this pack though is how the top loader is removable and becomes a very useable day pack."

The best part about traveling with an Osprey backpack is you can fit your laptop inside with two to three days of clothes and never have to worry about hauling a carry-on or duffel bag to your destination.


Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: 2 years

OGIO can transport a wardrobe quite well, but what the brand is truly exceptional at is transporting gear. Whatever equipment you might want to take with you on your next big trip, an OGIO bag will work as a checked luggage option to get your prized possessions from point A to point B.

This prior notion is especially true when it comes to traveling with golf clubs, as pieces like their ALPHA Travel Cover help you roll your clubs through a terminal without any snagging or other inconveniences. "G reat product to carry clubs. Kept everything safe and has lockable zippers," said one Amazon reviewer.

Read more: Best Golf Bags


Price Point ($-$$$): $ | Hardside or Softside: Hardside | Warranty: 2 years

Coolife prides itself on constant innovation. The company was started in the '80s and has evolved to be as modern and relevant as today's big players, like AWAY and Calpak. The aesthetic is quite similar to such brands, with minimally-hued hardshell cases that protect your precious goods and spin nicely. While you don't get the popular brand name, you will get a far better price point, (we're talking under $200 for a two-piece set), making Coolife luggage a major bang for the buck you're spending.

Plus, the Amazon reviews on Coolife luggage are exceptional. " It [the set] cost less than a single suitcase in other stores and includes perfect sizes with the largest being expandable; don’t hesitate to buy these when you need luggage," said one Amazon reviewer. The three-piece set has over 1,000 five-star reviews alone.


Price Point ($-$$$): $$$ | Hardside or Softside: Hardside | Warranty: Lifetime

For over 120 years, Rimowa has been making hard-sided luggage, first starting with wooden suitcases and then moving to sturdy aluminum bags. Now, RIMOWA uses ultra-lightweight polycarbonate in its bags. The brand is known for pushing the boundaries of innovation. Though they come in at a luxury price point, these bags will last for well over a decade. Just take a look at this review a Rimowa buyer left at " On our first trip using this suitcase, my entire family fought over who got to roll the Rimowa because it was just SO MUCH LIGHTER and maneuverable than our other suitcases. It’s sleek, sturdy, light and has great details and added features." The hard-sided shell might look intimidating at first, but once you feel how lightweight and easy this is to the wheel, you'll wonder why you haven't invested in it sooner.

Read more: Best Sunglasses


Price Point ($-$$$): $$ | Hardside or Softside: Hardside | Warranty: Lifetime

If you're looking for unique luggage that will stand out in baggage claim, look no further. Not only are Roam 's designs multi-colored, the brand even offers the option to make it uniquely yours in their own design studio. Roam makes the best-checked luggage for that reason along with being light in weight, easy to wheel around, and extra secure with a locking system. "I was an early adopter of the Roam Journey. I traveled all over the world with it. It is lightweight and the customization options really make it pop on the conveyor belt. No more episodes of other people accidentally grabbing my mundane black bag," said one Roam reviewer.

We had thoughts about the carry-on looking small when we first got our hands on one, but the bag can surprisingly fit many days' worth of outfits. The only con about the carry-on thought is it comes without outer organizational pockets, so you'll have to store smaller belongings and electronics inside the bag.


You're probably going to be most impressed by Monos on this list. The Canadian brand makes luggage with a cool minimalist aesthetic that is efficient in packing space thanks to organized internal compartments and packing cubs. It seems as if the brand has thoroughly thought of every travel hiccup and created its products to solve those common issues. The Monos carry-on features a fold-out tech pocket that doesn't compromise the unbreakable aluminum and polycarbonate hybrid shell. The result of all of this: durable aluminum, lightweight polycarbonate, and soft-sided organization features. The wheels are virtually noiseless, and the brand's accessories snap perfectly into place among the entire line of luggage. It all looks and feels expensive, probably because it isn't cheap—but it will make your travel dreams so much better.


Price Point ($-$$$): $$$ | Hardside or Softside: Softside | Warranty: Lifetime

Filson has captured the hearts of travelers who love timeless rugged design. While the Seattle brand doesn't carry any hard luggage, Filson does make some grade-A soft luggage. Everything from their duffle bags to messenger bags is perfect for short trips and for carry-on duties. One Filson review mentioned how well his duffel bag performed on a trip abroad. " Used it on a 10-day trip to Europe in winter; paired it up with a carry-on and this was perfect to fit bulkier items like boots, sweaters, and jackets," said the reviewer.

The initial investment on any Filson bag is a pretty penny, but the quality materials like USA-sourced leather and tear-resistant canvas point to your bag lasting a long long time—and look better with every new sign of wear and tear, no less.


July is another luggage brand that's made a splash in recent years. The attention to detail in design, combined with stylish silhouettes, has brought forth a line of pieces that look great standalone and even better together. "The suitcase packed a lot of clothes very nicely as I traveled all through the Middle East, France, and Amsterdam. It rolls so easily it made the whole trip quite enjoyable. It seems very sturdy, and it is great looking," said one July reviewer.

July luggage comes in a ton of colors and—best of all—the brand offers small personalization services like monogramming and images of your pets. Yes, you heard that right pet parents.

Read more: Best Sling Bags

Why Trust Us

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  • In order to keep up with new innovations and product releases, the Men's Health editors and writers are continually testing the latest travel gear. Aside from covering travel gear in our evergreen roundups, we also highlight the best new travel gear in our gift guides and annual Travel Awards .
  • When it comes to luggage, we make sure to line up real-world testing opportunities anytime we're on assignment or traveling for pleasure. Then, we bring the luggage back to our office to thoroughly inspect each bag to determine what design notes surprised us, and what could use more work.
  • We consider how luggage brands appeals to specific types of traveler, as opposed to making generic assumptions that every traveler's needs are the same. We take into account everything from checked bags to carry-ons, to duffel bags and travel backpacks. Travelers who come to us will gain a full understanding of the luggage landscape and how it fits their lifestyle.

Read more: Learn How Men's Health Tests Products

How to Find the Right Luggage

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Like your favorite pair of jeans , your favorite piece of luggage is going to come from a brand that fits your lifestyle. When looking for the best suitcase brand, you're going to want to write down what quantities you desire in your luggage. Here's what you should look for.

Frequency of Travel

The right luggage is going to fit with how you travel. If you're only going out of town a handful times a year, then you don't necessarily need to splurge on a super expensive suitcase or suitcase set. In fact, we'd recommend going for a wallet-friendly suitcase or set from brands like Samsonite or Coolife if you're not traveling that often, as these brands will hold up for years with light to medium use and not cost you very much upfront. If you're traveling a lot (for pleasure, business, or both) then you're going to probably want to lean towards making an investment in a piece of luggage that's made to handle continuous wear and tear. "When it comes to buying the right piece for your travel needs, my advice is always to opt for something that fits your lifestyle and budget," says Justin Crabbe.

How You Travel

After estimating how much you will be traveling throughout the year, you can start to write down your travel habits, or how you travel. Do you pack heavy or pack light? What features do you want or need? This is where features like TSA locks, 360-degree wheels, special laptop compartments, built-in portable chargers, and more are to be considered. "Look for ways to elevate your internal organization, like dividers, pockets, and sections that will help you keep your belongings organized and easily accessible during your travels," says Sean Oblizalo. Another note: if you're into adventure traveling, look for a bag that's more flexible, lightweight, and made with weather-resistant materials is your best option. "Look for sturdy fabrics such as nylon or polyester, reinforced stitching, and strong zippers to ensure your luggage can handle the demands of outdoor adventures," says Jackson Groves.

You also want to consider how much you are willing to pay for your suitcase. Some suitcase brands are expensive because they get grouped into high fashion, but suitcases can also be expensive because they're known to last a long time (it's worth mentioning the best luggage brands have a kind of timeless style attributed to them). A few of the best suitcase brands that require a significant investment include RIMOWA, Tumi, and Filson. If you're looking for suitcase brands that provide the best overall value (for the price you pay), consider makers like Samsonite, TravelPro, and CooLife.

Lastly, take note of each luggage brand's warranty. A warranty will help get your suitcase replaced or fixed should it have any issues (like a broken off wheel or damaged handle). Most luggage brands have pretty good warranties these days (usually 5-10 years) but the best warranty you can get on a suitcase is a lifetime warranty. Warranties can be huge for frequent travelers, as your suitcase will wear down with high usage. If you are a frequent traveler, or if you're someone who simply wants the best warranty you can get, go with a suitcase that has a lifetime policy. Premium luggage brands are more likely to have lifetime warranties, so this can be another benefit to going up and investing in an expensive suitcase.

Is Hardside or Softside Luggage Better?

The most popular luggage comes in either a hard-sided or soft-sided structured bag. Like mentioned earlier, the pros and cons of both depend on what you prioritize when you pack. Soft-sided luggage typically has more room for movement, more organizational pockets, and can compress to fit into tight spaces (like the overhead of an airplane). They open with a top flap zip, placing the bulk of storage at the bottom. Softside luggage offers more packing room, but it can throw off the balance of your goods when it’s tossed around and stowed away by airline employees. Basically, soft-sided luggage does not provide as much protection as hard-sided bags—but they are roomier.

Read more: Transformative Trips Every Guy Should Take

Due to advances in making polycarbonate more durable and lighter, hard-sided bags started gaining popularity in the past few years Hardside luggage features a 50/50 split opening (also called a book opening), making each side an equal stabilizer with an outer shell of hard protection. Polycarbonate shells are typically better for business travel. They stack easily but are usually rigid with zero room to expand like a soft-sided bag. The latest hard-sided bags look sleeker and are easier to clean and move—but they require you to be more strategic in your packing.

Other features that you’ll want to consider are weight and wheelability. Many modern suitcases are designed in the lightest possible form, along with four spinner wheels that can swivel 360 degrees to make rolling around the airport, pavement, or hotel floor a breeze.

Headshot of Christian Gollayan

Christian Gollayan oversees e-commerce content for Men's Health and Women's Health. Previously, he was the Associate Managing Editor at Christian's work has also been featured in Food & Wine, InStyle, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.

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John Thompson is the Senior Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at , and a commerce writer for . His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. 

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The best carry-on luggage of 2024, tested and reviewed

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The internet is filled with stories of travel nightmares, but imagine a scenario where you're strolling through the airport confidently and easily with your suitcase gliding by your side; everything you wanted to pack has fit neatly into one bag, and you don't have a care in the world about squeezing it into the overhead bin. The best carry-on suitcases are reliable, durable, easy to pack, hold plenty of clothes, and fit on both domestic and international planes of all sizes.   

As travel editors who take more than 50 flights a year, we practically live out of our carry-ons at times. Our picks for the best carry-on bag are based on years of hands-on testing using objective tests and real-life travel. Our top pick for a hard-sided suitcase is the Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels , which has proved to be durable, spacious, and easy to maneuver. If you prefer a soft-sided bag, we also recommend the Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Carry-On Spinner , a bag designed by an airline pilot with thoughtful features like well-placed pockets and leather detailing.

If you're in the market for checked luggage, be sure also to check out our guide to the best luggage , which details all our favorite travel brands.

Our top picks for carry-on luggage

Best hard-sided overall: Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels - See at Amazon Form, function, durability, and an excellent price all meet to make the Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage a winner.

Best soft-sided overall: Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Carry-On Spinner - See at Travelpro The Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Carry-On holds everything you need and then some, but its attention to detail makes it stand out from the competition. 

Best budget: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner - See at Amazon For the casual weekend traveler, the AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner Carry-On is an attractive bag that does the job at an extremely affordable price.

Best high-end hard-sided: Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin - See at Rimowa True to its name, the Rimowa Essential Lite sets itself apart with its under 5-pound weight without compromising on durability or quality. 

Best high-end soft-sided: Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner - See at Briggs & Riley The Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On is worth the investment thanks to its impressive compression feature and high-end materials that stand the test of time.

Best for extra space: Monos Carry-On Pro Plus - See at Monos If you're not restricted to smaller overhead bins, the Monos Carry-On Pro Plus is a sleek suitcase with extra room inside and a smart front pocket for easily stowing accessories.  

Best aluminum: Away The Carry-On: Aluminum Edition - See at Away Away's heavy-duty aluminum carry-on is as sleek and eye-catching as it is durable.

Best hard-sided overall: Samsonite Centric Hardside

travel vacation luggage

Pros: Excellent price for the quality, durable, scratch-resistant, wheels easily, expandable, 10 year warranty

Cons: Handle wiggles a decent amount when fully extended, may be too big for some budget airlines outside the US 

I've used this bag consistently for years, and while it has a couple of very small marks upon close inspection, it has remained in remarkably good shape — especially compared to other hard-side cases I've tried. 

It's easy to lift into overhead bins and a rubberized grip under the top and side handles adds extra comfort for handling. The zippers run smoothly and the expansion zipper even has a finger hole for extra ease and agility. There is also a TSA-approved lock on the right side.

Despite its small size, I can fit a week's worth of clothes inside, and the 1.5-inch expansion capability comes in especially handy if you often return from a trip with more than you originally packed. While there aren't any fancy extras when it comes to interior storage, it's more than sufficient with a mesh zip close on one side and a strong buckle to keep clothes packed in tight on the other. 

The bag's one downside is that the handle is a little bit wobbly when fully extended. As is the case with most suitcases, the handle poles also take up some space in the interior compartment, making it harder to lay items completely flat on that side. 

Read our full Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Carry-On review .

Best soft-sided overall: Travelpro Platinum Elite

travel vacation luggage

Pros: Durable and high-quality materials, leather detailing, doesn't tip forward even when fully packed

Cons : Easy to overpack, may be too big for some budget airlines outside the US 

Travelpro is well-regarded among serious travelers for a reason. The high-density nylon fabric is durable, stain-resistant, and has not torn or ripped in the time I've used it. Leather detailing not only adds a sophisticated look but also makes the top lifting handle extremely comfortable. However, the additional handle on the side is a little bit tight, even for my small hands.

With an expansion option of two full inches, this bag holds a ton. There are three front pockets of varying sizes, including one that can hold a laptop. The main compartment has the standard layout of a soft-side bag with one deep side and a smaller zipper compartment on the other side.

Large chrome zippers are easy to maneuver and the four large wheels made this bag one of the easiest to wheel on every surface, including carpet. The adjustable handle is very sturdy and has a contoured grip, making it extra comfortable.

The bag also comes with several handy extras, including a garment bag, a built-in USB port (battery pack not included), and a removable clear plastic bag attached to the inside for holding toiletries and liquids.

However, I did find that with so many front pockets, the bag was very easy to overpack, especially when fully expanded, which defeats the purpose of having a carry-on if you end up having to check it after all. 

Read our full Travelpro Platinum Elite Expandable Carry-On review .

Best budget: AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner

travel vacation luggage

Pros: Very affordable, durable for the price, solid adjustable handle that doesn't wobble

Cons: Marks up easily, may not hold up well over time, no lock

For a bag that costs much less than our top picks, I was thoroughly impressed by the quality and look of this carry-on. It was sturdier than I was expecting and the material only had a little bit of give when I pressed on the top and sides.

Though it is expandable up to 15% for additional packing room, I found that it held less overall than the similar Samsonite suitcase we recommend in this guide, making it a good option for shorter or weekend trips.

The interior has one mesh zip side and one side with a buckle. The buckle isn't too sturdy, but it will do the trick of keeping clothes in place. The adjustable handle is comfortable and didn't wobble very much. The wheels also glided smoothly on nearly every surface (thick carpet gave it a bit of trouble), though they were just a little bit louder than others I tested. 

The zippers ran smoothly and for the most part, the bag held up throughout my tests, though it did get marks relatively after just one use. That said, some reviewers have complained that after about five or six trips the bag starts to break down, with complaints of broken handles, wheels, and zippers.

Best high-end hard-sided: Rimowa Essential Lite Cabin

travel vacation luggage

Pros: Incredibly lightweight, durable

Cons: Not as good for organization, expensive

Rimowa is best known for its distinctive aluminum suitcases frequently spotted on celebrity Instagram accounts. While those bags will set you back a cool grand, the luxury travel brand has alternative high-quality options that won't cost more than your monthly rent.

I was particularly impressed with the newer Essential Lite bag, which weighs less than five pounds — an especially great option for chronic overpackers who worry about their bag being overweight. Shockingly, the Lite suitcase actually holds slightly more than Rinowa's classic aluminum suitcase, too.

The brand didn't sacrifice when it comes to the quality of the materials. Although the bag has some give at the top when pressed, the suitcase is plenty sturdy. Its thicker glossy coating also keeps it from scratching or marking up as easily as matte-finished suitcases. I tossed it around several times and it survived the back of a moving truck with no dents, scratches, or marks. 

The bag has a TSA-approved lock on top, a rubberized top handle that's comfortable to grip, and a sturdy telescopic handle. The wheels are whisper quiet thanks to cushioned axles and worked beautifully on every surface from hardwood to carpet. I also liked that both sides of the interior had a mesh zipper, which I found made keeping everything organized and in place easier than the typical one-sided buckle system. 

One added bonus of owning a Rimowa bag is the 5-year warranty, and the company works with a network of hotels to do repairs onsite should anything happen to your bag while you're traveling.

Read our full Rimowa Essential Lite carry-on review .

Best high-end soft-sided: Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-on Expandable Spinner

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Pros:  Durable, high-quality materials, smart and unique features to help fit more in 

Cons:  Pricey, heavy

With a hybrid fiberglass frame, ballistic nylon exterior, reinforced corners, and smooth YKK zippers, this Briggs & Riley bag is made to withstand the test of time. 

This suitcase is also full of ingenious tricks that make packing it a breeze and help you sneak in those extra outfits. For starters, the bag has a CX compression-expansion system that increases packing capacity by 25% before compressing back down to fit carry-on size regulations. Another smart feature that adds packable room to this bag is a fold-out divider in the smaller zippered compartment so you can stack clothes, fold it in, and then stack more clothes before zipping it all up.  

Unlike other bags we tested, the adjustable handle is entirely on the outside of this bag, so no packing room is lost to the poles. That said, it does mean that the poles are visible on the outside the bag and may make it slightly harder to slide the bag into the overhead compartment.

The wheels expertly navigated every surface, and the handle is sturdy and easy to grip. Two outer pockets on the front add additional space, but I found they didn't expand quite as much as the Travelpro front pockets. There's also a small zippered pocket on the back ideal for keeping your phone (especially when going through security).

The biggest downside: it's heavier than the other bags I tried and could be hard for some people to lift into the overhead, especially when fully packed. 

Best for extra space: Monos Carry-On Pro Plus

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Pros: Significantly more packable space, smart front pocket that doesn't protrude when packed

Cons: Doesn't meet all carry-on size requirements, marks up easily

At 23 inches, the Monos Pro Plus is just a hair too big for some smaller planes or budget airlines. However, if you mainly take larger cross-country or transatlantic flights where overhead bins are bigger and space isn't usually an issue and relish every last ounce of packable space, this carry-on is worth a look. 

It offers more packable space than any other bag on this list. It features one side with a zippered mesh compartment and an alternative side that has a fold-out mesh pocket and two wide and sturdy buckles that seriously compress clothes when pulled tight. 

What really sets this bag apart is the front pocket space, which is unusual for a hard-sided suitcase. The padded pocket holds a 15-inch laptop and has additional space for organizing everything from your phone to headphones. 

The bag itself has a simple and chic look and comes in an array of attractive colors like pale pink and royal blue. However, my bag did get several small scuffs rather quickly. The adjustable handle is sturdy and doesn't wobble, the YKK zippers didn't catch, and the wheels glided smoothly on all surfaces. 

As an additional bonus, the bag is guaranteed for life and has a 100-day trial period. 

For those who want to ensure their carry-on fits on all flights, Monos recently launched a smaller carry-on option with a pocket, the Carry-On Pro . However, you do lose 10 liters of packable space, so the Pro is best for shorter trips.   

Read our full Monos carry-on luggage review .

Best aluminum: Away The Carry-On: Aluminum Edition

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Pros: Durable, sleek look, dual locks, ample packing space

Cons: Heavy, expensive

Aluminum suitcases are more expensive than standard polycarbonate options. However, they're supremely durable and built to seriously last. They also have a sleek and shiny look that stands out from the crowd at the airport.  

This one from Away has quickly become one of my favorites. I was worried it wouldn't easily fit into all overhead bins because it has a bulkier look, but I was even able to fit it on a small regional plane recently. 

As for that shiny look, I receive compliments every time I take this bag out. And on durability, this carry-on has held up remarkably well so far, with no scratches, dings, or dents to speak of, even after I also threw it around on my rooftop to simulate the wear and tear that comes with typical plane travel. 

Its 360-degree spinner wheels are a breeze to roll on numerous surface types. Rather than a typical zipper, this aluminum suitcase features two sturdy TSA-approved locks that easily click into place.

What most impressed me was the huge amount of packing space. I took this bag on a weekend ski trip and was able to fit my long underwear, sweaters, ski pants, gloves, and a light jacket on just one side. I easily fit a weekend's worth of everyday clothes on the other side. 

At just under 11 pounds, this bag is heavy. While that isn't too big of an issue on car trips, train trips, or some flights, with airlines that have stricter weight limits I would hesitate to use this carry-on.

Read our full Away Carry-On review .

How we test carry-on luggage

travel vacation luggage

For this guide, I narrowed down the field to the 10 top contenders based on my own considerable travel experience and knowledge as a travel editor, as well as additional research and user reviews. While some of these bags I've personally owned and used for several years, others I tested extensively specifically for this guide.

I put all 10 of the bags through the same tests, which considered packability, maneuverability, and durability. I also took into account the price point, style, quality of materials, and any extra features the bags included. 

Packability: I paced the same set of clothing in each bag (enough for a five-day trip), noting both ease of packing and how much the bag could actually hold.

Maneuverability: Due to the pandemic, I have not been flying recently, but I still mimicked the conditions carry-ons would typically go through in a number of ways. I packed each bag to capacity, rolled them for several blocks on the street, tested the wheels on wood floors, thick carpet, and concrete, stress-tested the zippers, and lifted each bag onto a high closet shelf roughly the same height as an overhead bin.

Durability: I used all of the bags in a recent move where they were thrown around the back of a moving van in a similar fashion to how they might be tossed around on and off a plane by bag handlers to test durability. 

Carry-on luggage FAQs

What size carry-on should i buy.

Most US airlines technically cap carry-ons at 22 inches long, 14 inches wide and 9 inches high, including handles and wheels. However, in our experience (and the practical dimensions we've spotted in best-selling bags), you can usually get away with about an inch more room in each direction.

However, if you frequently travel on short jumper flights or often fly on budget airlines overseas, you may want to consider a carry-on no larger than 21.7" x 13.7" x 9".

Should I buy hard-sided or soft-sided luggage?

Ah, the age-old luggage debate. The answer depends on your priorities.

Hard-sided bags have a fixed shape and size, which is a boon if you're prone to overpacking. They're also more durable. However, soft-sided bags offer some flexibility, which can be good for squeezing your bag into tight overhead spaces. They also usually have outer pockets, which is a rarity in hard-sided bags. The style you choose here will ultimately be down to your personal preference.

What's the best weight for a carry-on?

In general, 7 or 8 pounds is a manageable dry weight for a carry-on bag. Keep in mind that extra bells and whistles add to the weight of the bag, so carefully consider if those features are truly worth the extra weight before committing. For example, a portable USB charger often seems like a great perk in a bag, but it can add a whole extra pound of weight.

What's the best carry-on for traveling with kids?

Traveling with kids means you'll need easy access to snacks, entertainment devices, diapers, and other childcare items. That means outer pockets are your friend in a carry-on bag. Any of our soft-sided carry-on picks will do the job here.

Should I get a carry-on with two wheels or four wheels?

Our testers are staunch believers that a carry-on bag should have four wheels for maximum maneuverability. There's really no advantage to a two-wheeled bag.

What's the best material for luggage?

The most common materials for hard-sided suitcases tend to be aluminum, polycarbonate, and ABS. Aluminum is extremely durable, but also extremely pricey, and ABS is less durable but more affordable. A good polycarbonate bag can hit the sweet spot of price and quality.

When it comes to soft-sided suitcases, ballistic nylon is one of the most durable options, but again can mean a higher price point. Regular nylon can still be high-quality while being more affordable, while polyester tends to be a good budget option.   

You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here . Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected] .

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Protect Your Trip »

The 18 best luggage brands of 2023.

These top-rated brands offer carry-ons, checked luggage and more to make travel easier.

The Best Luggage Brands

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(Courtesy of Victorinox)

Style meets quality when it comes to luggage brands like Victorinox, Away, Rimowa and more.

While you can't control everything on your journeys, bringing the right luggage for your type of adventure certainly makes things go smoother. But with the variety of brands, styles and types of bags available, making a choice on what to purchase can feel overwhelming.

To make it easier to find your perfect travel companion, U.S. News compiled this list of the best luggage brands. Based on consumer reviews and travel expert insight, these brands consistently receive positive feedback from everyday travelers, and this selection includes options for suitcases, bags and accessories.

The Top Luggage Brands for 2023

Delsey paris, globe-trotter, ricardo beverly hills, american tourister, eagle creek, amazon basics.

(Note: Styles, return policies and warranty information were accurate at the time this article was published; they may fluctuate due to supply chain issues, retailer policies and other factors.)

Offering a range of travel bags, luggage and accessories for business and leisure travelers, Samsonite has been a leading luggage brand for more than 100 years. Samsonite is known for focusing on durability and innovative design, and today's travelers can find h ard- and soft-sided luggage , along with a variety of travel accessories, for sale from this brand.

Samsonite offers traveler-favorite hard-sided suitcases, such as the Freeform Carry-on Spinner – one of U.S. News' top carry-on luggage picks for a lightweight suitcase. This style combines a durable hard-sided construction with spinner wheels, interior organizational pockets and a recessed TSA-approved combination lock. Available in a variety of colors including black, light gray or teal, this popular collection from Samsonite includes the 21-inch carry-on, and the checked 24-inch and 28-inch sizes.

Marisa Méndez , senior editor at U.S. News Travel, has traveled with her Samsonite set, similar to the Samsonite Ascella X Softside , for more than a decade. "The carry-on specifically has been to the U.K. and back three times, and on more continental flights, road trips and moves than I can remember," Méndez says. "Airlines impose crazy weight limits for carry-ons, so I chose a lightweight suitcase to pack more necessities. The bag is still in excellent condition, with minor signs of wear."

Return policy: 90 days Warranty: Limited 10-year warranty Shop now: Samsonite | Amazon | Macy's

Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Carry-On Spinner in black against white background.

(Courtesy of Travelpro)

Founded by a commercial airline pilot, Travelpro invented the Original Rollaboard – a two-wheeled upright suitcase with an extendable handle. For more than 30 years, this brand has continued to bring innovation to its entire collection of luggage, which includes carry-on bags, rollaboards, totes and checked suitcases – as well as accessories like packing cubes , luggage tags and toiletry bags .

Travelpro has become a perennial favorite among airline crew members worldwide, with employees from more than 90 airlines using Travelpro luggage, according to the brand's website. Combining durability and functionality with elements like exterior organizational pockets, the Travelpro Platinum Elite 21-inch Expandable Carry-On Spinner (one U.S. News' top carry-on luggage picks) is popular with travelers, who say they appreciate the spinner wheels and extendable handle for easy maneuverability through airports.

Erin Evans , managing editor at U.S. News Travel, is a big fan of the Travelpro Maxlite Air Medium Check-In Expandable Hardside Spinner , which she purchased in 2022 and has used several times. "The suitcase is incredibly light, it fits an impressive amount of clothing and it's easy to maneuver with super smooth spinner wheels that you can pull or push," she says. "The textured, wavy design also makes it less likely to see scratches or scuffs and the slate blue version I got (Ensign Blue) is a color that's easy to pick out off the luggage belt."

Return policy: 100 days Warranty: Lifetime limited Shop now: Travelpro | Amazon | Macy's

TUMI is an iconic international brand offering high-end luggage, bags and a variety of travel accessories, including passport holders, toiletry bags, portfolios and eyewear. The brand focuses on high performance and quality materials in its luggage offerings. Blending the brand's FXT ballistic nylon with innovative design, the TUMI ALPHA International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On has a split-case zip entry into the main compartment, an interior garment compartment to hold one suit, four dual spinner wheels and molded impact-resistant sides. Owners of this bag appreciate the durable construction, smooth wheels and overall TUMI design.

For a sleek under-seat option, the best-selling TUMI Voyageur Oxford Compact Carry-on is a favorite of travelers for its ability to fit under coach seats, and many say it holds more clothing than you'd expect.

Return policy: Items must be unused and returned in original packaging Warranty: One-year full warranty, then two- to five-year limited warranty (depending on product) Shop now: TUMI | Amazon | Macy's

Recognized around the world for its iconic Classic Cabin suitcase with a ribbed aluminum construction (U.S. News' top luxury carry-on pick), Rimowa is a German-engineered collection of luggage and travel gear. The brand was founded in 1898 and has been perfecting suitcases to meet the needs and desires of travelers ever since. Today, Rimowa makes a high-end range of suitcases and accessories in classic aluminum and heritage-inspired designs.

Rimowa also created the world's first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000 and now offers multiple polycarbonate designs, including the Rimowa Essential Cabin . Designed in Germany, this sleek style has a glossy exterior, lightweight construction, a leather luggage tag and a flex divider interior organizational system. Fans of this suitcase appreciate the quality of the construction and say it's a lifetime investment piece.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Lifetime guarantee Shop now: Rimowa

Read: The Top Luxury Luggage Collections

An open and packed Solgaard Carry-on Closet – Large against white background.

(Courtesy of Solgaard)

Launched in 2016 with the Lifepack – a solar-powered anti-theft laptop bag with Bluetooth speakers – Solgaard has revolutionized luggage with its innovative approach to bag and suitcase design. In 2017, the brand launched its award-winning Solgaard Carry-On Closet . This piece became a traveler favorite for its patented built-in shelves, which eliminate the need to unpack while traveling, yet keep clothes and essentials in place.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Lifetime Shop now: Solgaard

Inspired by her own travels, actress Shay Mitchell started BÉIS to make travel bags and accessories that are both fashionable and functional at attractive prices. The stylish BÉIS brand offers fashion-forward hard-sided luggage sets, backpacks that can carry daily essentials or tech for a trip, and duffels that easily go from the gym to a weekend getaway.

For the traveling fashionista, the BÉIS Air Collection includes cargo backpacks and expandable duffels, totes and pouches (that can be unzipped to become a backpack) in a chic and lightweight polyester construction, available in colors like black or maple. What's more, the collection includes hard-sided rolling luggage in coordinating colors. Fans of the brand appreciate the overall look of the collection, as well as how much they can fit within the bags.

The weekender bag is U.S. News' top weekender bag pick. For a stylish checked option, the BÉIS 29-inch Large Check-in Roller has a hard-sided construction, multiple color options like navy or gray, and hundreds of five-star reviews from owners citing they love the bag's durability and the amount that can be packed in this suitcase.

Return policy: 45 days Warranty: Lifetime limited Shop now: BÉIS | Nordstrom

CALPAK Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage in hazel against white background.

(Courtesy of CALPAK)

California Pack, which started as a handbag and wallet company in Los Angeles in 1989, evolved into CALPAK – a top-selling luggage and accessories brand. Designed to be both functional and affordable, CALPAK is a destination for hard-sided suitcases, the iconic Luka Duffel , packable tote bags and a variety of accessories. Selected by U.S. News as a top under-seat option , the CALPAK Hue Mini Carry-On Luggage is a fan favorite due to its 360-degree spinner wheels, its compact design that can hold a lot and its attractive style.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Limited two-year warranty Shop now: CALPAK

DELSEY PARIS Chatelet Underseater.

(Courtesy of DELSEY PARIS)

Founded in 1946, DELSEY PARIS began creating suitcases for travelers after the postwar birth of tourism. Combining French elegance and style with quality construction, this 75-years-and-counting heritage brand produces iconic luggage styles like the DELSEY Chatelet collection in carry-on and checked sizes. Owners of the Chatelet luggage like the vintage-inspired styling and ease of use. What's more, DELSEY PARIS is constantly expanding its product offerings that combine fashion and function, such as the DELSEY PARIS Cruise Carry-on with a textured twill exterior in platinum, blue or graphite. Other retail options from DELSEY PARIS include duffel bags , backpacks and weekender bags .

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Up to 10 years Shop now: DELSEY PARIS | Amazon | Macy's

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Tips on Trips and Expert Picks

Travel tips, vacation ideas and more to make your next vacation stellar.

Globe-Trotter was established in 1897, and its pieces are handmade in England. The heritage brand applies the same techniques and uses the attention to detail it's been known for since the golden age of travel. As such, many shapes and styles available for purchase remain the classic options that have been around since the company's beginnings. The iconic brand has been the luggage of choice for some of the world's most famous travelers, including the late Queen Elizabeth II. For a classic design, consider the Globe-Trotter Original Carry-On with space for up to three days of essentials, or an eye-catching piece from the Globe-Trotter x PEANUTS Collaboration .

Return policy: 28 days Warranty: Up to five years Shop now: Globe-Trotter

Focused on creating products that bring joy to travelers at competitive prices, Ricardo Beverly Hills offers a range of luggage and travel accessories. Travelers seeking a mix of fashion and function will find carry-on luggage, travel bags, totes and checked bags for their adventures. The Ricardo Beverly Hills Indio Hardside Luggage collection is highly rated among reviewers, with buyers praising its lightweight construction and fashionable appearance. Available in a 20-inch carry-on, or 24- and 28-inch checked sizes, this luggage has a textured, jewel-inspired exterior with a metallic finish in four colors, including ruby and navy. If external pockets and a soft-sided design are what you seek, the Ricardo Beverly Hills Montecito Spinner Carry-on is a top-rated pick with four external zippered pockets.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Limited 10-year warranty Shop now: Ricardo Beverly Hills | Amazon | Macy's

This classic luggage brand began in Rhode Island in 1933. Its founder's goal was to build a durable suitcase that could be sold for a dollar. Today, American Tourister is one of the largest luggage brands in the world. The company believes travel should be fun, and is focused on creating luggage, along with business and casual bags, that is reliable, high quality and fashionable. If you're looking for a fun way to add personality to your travel gear, American Tourister makes a variety of Disney luggage , including the American Tourister Disney Hardside Luggage with Spinner Wheels 2-Piece Set , which has a five-star Amazon rating. Owners of the set say they love the fun character design, price and durability.

If you're looking for a well-rated luggage set , the American Tourister Moonlight Hardside Luggage includes a 20-inch carry-on, plus checked 24- and 28-inch spinner suitcases. Travelers give the set high praise for its lightweight construction and maneuverability.

Return policy: 90 days Warranty: Limited 10-year warranty Shop now: American Tourister | Amazon | Kohl's

Eagle Creek Migrate Wheeled Duffel 130L in "River Rock" color against white background.

(Courtesy of Eagle Creek)

Started as an outdoor travel bag and backpacking company in 1975, this brand focuses on durable luggage and bags for explorers and adventurers. The company's collection of gear includes a variety of packing solutions to help keep travelers organized, such as Pack-It Packing Cubes and neck wallets . Eagle Creek's "No Matter What" warranty helps to eliminate waste by building quality gear that lasts for the diverse lifestyles of adventure travelers .

One of the brand's top-rated items is the Eagle Creek Migrate Wheeled Duffel 130L . Available in multiple colors, including burnt berry and arctic blue, this waterproof duffel bag has backpack straps and wheels for carrying options, expandable side buckles, and a front zippered pocket. Users of the bag appreciate its quality construction, wheels and the fact it collapses to take up less storage space.

Return policy: 90 days Warranty: "No Matter What" warranty covers the functional aspects of the item for the life of the product Shop now: Eagle Creek | Amazon

Victorinox Airox Frequent Flyer Hardside Carry-On in orange against white background.

Inspired by the features and functions of the brand's Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox Travel Gear is designed for business and adventure. Focused on quality and functionality for more than 130 years, this Swiss brand offers a variety of travel gear, including carry-ons, briefcases and checked bags, as well as accessories like wallets and security belts.

One of the brand's top-rated carry-ons is the Victorinox Airox Frequent Flyer Hardside Carry-On . Available in orange or dark blue, this spinner style receives high praise from travelers for its lightweight construction and maneuverability, with some saying it fits in most narrow overhead bins on smaller planes. For business travelers, the Victorinox Werks Traveler 6.0 Garment Sleeve is an ideal addition to any luggage collection. Its innovative design is inspired by the brand's iconic knives and keeps garments crisp and flat with a unique clamp and compression system, plus it has a detachable shoulder strap.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Limited 11-year warranty Shop now: Victorinox | Amazon | Macy's

Away's The Daily Carry-On with Pocket in gray against white background.

(Courtesy of Away)

Designed for travelers by travelers, Away is an online retailer that offers suitcases, bags and accessories. Created to make journeys easier and inspire more travel, Away suitcases are constructed with high-performing and lightweight materials, with a focus on intentional and functional details that matter. Chosen by U.S. News as the best carry-on luggage option for business travel, Away's The Daily Carry-On with Pocket is a rolling 13-inch laptop bag and suitcase combined. Featuring a hard shell and a removable three-part storage compartment, the suitcase is perfect for business trips and weekend getaways, according to owners, with many saying they love the organizational details.

Away's The Carry-on Bag is a U.S. News staff favorite. "I get so many compliments on this bag," says Amanda Norcross , content and SEO strategist at U.S. News Travel. "It's the only suitcase I've used on countless trips over the past few years, and it's still in great shape." She adds that the removable battery is her favorite feature (and is worth the extra cost). "It's so convenient for charging my phone on the go."

Return policy: 100 days Warranty: Limited one-year warranty Shop now: Away

Lug's Puddle Jumper Weekender Bag in blue, green and pink flower design

(Courtesy of Lug)

Founded in 2005 by a couple looking to make luggage fun, functional and colorful, Lug has evolved into a lifestyle travel brand. Lug carries a few traditional luggage options, such as the Lug Carry-on with Top Handle – Porter Wheelie , which features a soft-sided construction, four wheels and organizational features that users of this bag love. The Lug brand is primarily focused on travel bags, totes, handbags and accessories that maximize what you can pack and carry on a trip or for daily activities. The celebrity-favorite brand has been part of award show gift bags, and fans of this brand are affectionately referred to as Lugnuts due to their passion for the collection.

The iconic Lug Puddle Jumper bag (a medium-sized convertible tote bag) was featured on Oprah's "O List" and has won numerous awards over the years; travelers give the bag rave reviews for its organizational features, attention to detail, durable construction, and the playful prints and colors available.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: One year Shop now: Lug | QVC | Amazon

This brand of luggage, created by Amazon, is designed to offer exceptional value. Amazon Basics luggage options include hard- and soft-sided rolling luggage and under-seat bags. What's more, Amazon Basics sells a variety of travel accessories, including packing cubes, waist and neck wallets, and toiletry bags. Some of the top-rated Amazon Basics pieces are the Amazon Basics Vienna Spinner Suitcases , which travelers praise for their durability and recognizable design that makes them easy to find at baggage claim. Another favorite is the Amazon Basics Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag : Buyers praise this toiletry bag for its price and organizational features.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Three years Shop now: Amazon

Aviator Carry-on in cream against white background.

(Courtesy of Paravel)

This sustainable brand is focused on creating timeless products to help travelers enjoy the journey. From its hard-sided Aviator Carry-On to its award-winning fold-up collection , each item is constructed with upcycled materials, such as the company's trademarked Negative Nylon and Ecocraft canvas, as well as sustainable details like recycled zippers. Owners of the Paravel Grand Tour Duffle say it's the perfect size for a weekend getaway, and are impressed by the quality and attention to detail of the bag. Plus, travelers can personalize their bags, luggage and accessories with monograms for an elevated feel.

Return policy: 30 days Warranty: Up to limited 10-year warranty; varies by product Shop now: Paravel

Heys Britto Collection A New Day Carry-on Spinner against white background.

(Courtesy of Heys)

Started in the suburbs of Toronto in 1986, Heys is known for its lightweight hard-sided carry-on suitcases and accessories. The brand's luggage features innovative details and is constructed in a variety of eye-catching designs and colors. The Heys Britto Collection A New Day Carry-on Spinner is one traveler favorite because of its bold, colorful artwork and how easy it is to find at baggage claim. The recently introduced Heys Smart Luggage uses AAA batteries, rather than lithium ion – making it airline compliant and ready for check-in.

Return policy: 14 days Warranty: 10-year unconditional warranty Shop now: Heys | Amazon | Kohl's

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Rachael Hood is a senior travel editor with a passion for luggage. Always shopping for luggage and always testing different bags for various needs, she rarely checks a bag. Having traveled the world with top finds from Lug, CALPAK, TUMI and Heys, she used her traveling experience along with her retail merchandising background to curate the top luggage brands.

You might also be interested in:

Carry-on luggage sizes by airline.

  • What to Pack in a Carry-on Bag
  • The Top Cheap Luggage
  • The Best Flight Insurance Options
  • The Best International Travel Insurance

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US News & World Report - Travel

US News & World Report - Travel

Vacation Packing List: 27 Essentials for Any Trip

Posted: July 27, 2023 | Last updated: November 17, 2023

While every vacation packing list ultimately looks different based on a variety of factors – the destination, traveler(s), budget and more – consider this guide a jumping-off point for the must-haves. You can also scroll down to More Vacation Packing Lists to see recommendations for specific trips.

Category Navigation Box Enhancement : Table of Contents - Travel - Vacation Packing List

For the journey

Before your adventure begins, you'll want to decide what type of bag(s) to pack. To determine the type of luggage you'll need, consider:

  • How many days will you be traveling? If you're traveling for a week or longer, you may want to bring a large suitcase that can be checked in at the airport, or perhaps a complete luggage set . For a shorter trip, a carry-on and personal item (such as a backpack or small weekender bag ) should be sufficient.  
  • Who are you traveling with? Determine if you can combine your belongings to avoid unnecessary checked luggage fees. If traveling with children who can help carry bags, consider some kids luggage they'll be excited to carry or roll along. 
  • What type of climate(s) will you be in? For cold weather vacations, you might consider stuffing all of your outdoor gear into a rolling duffel bag . 
  • What are the baggage restrictions for your mode of travel? Check carry-on size requirements for your specific airline to ensure your luggage will fit in the overhead bin. Cruise lines also have weight and quantity restrictions for luggage, so consult your cruise line's website for additional details.
  • What kind of clothing will you need? Is this a casual trip or will you need formalwear for dinners and other gatherings? If you'll need the latter, you might want to purchase a garment bag to prevent wrinkled clothing. 

Packing cubes

To maximize suitcase space and stay organized, invest in at least one set of packing cubes. Travel experts recommend any of the packing cubes by Eagle Creek , as well as this cheap, quality set on Amazon . For more options, check out The Best Packing Cubes, Chosen by Travel Experts .

Credit cards

When traveling, it's good to have at least two credit card options with you. That way, if there are any issues with one card (or maybe a merchant doesn't accept American Express or Discover, a common occurrence when traveling abroad), you've got a backup payment option. It's also helpful in the event your credit card gets compromised and subsequently locked.

Read: The Best Travel Credit Cards

Travel documents

Having your boarding pass and personal identification is essential no matter where you're traveling. For international travel, you'll want a passport wallet for your passport along with any visa or customs forms you may need. Be sure to keep these documents either on your body or in your personal item that you place in under the seat in front of you on the plane (not in the overhead bin, where you may not always have access).

Travel pillow

Whether it's a long flight, train ride or car trip, dozing off without support can be a literal pain in the neck. Depending on what's comfortable for you, the Cabeau Evolution S3 and the Trtl Travel Pillow are two of the top U.S. News travel pillows . If you're short on space, you may want to consider the multitasking Tube Travel Neck Pillow , which doubles as a packing cube.

Water bottle

Staying hydrated while on the go is essential, and traveling with a reusable water bottle is an environmentally friendly way to do it. The LifeStraw Go is dishwasher-safe (when you remove the filter) and made of BPA-free plastic; the flip-straw has a two-step filter to trap bacteria and more. To keep your water cold for hours, the YETI Rambler has a durable stainless steel construction in a variety of colors and is the perfect canvas for travel stickers you collect along the way. To save space, try the Nomader Collapsible water bottle.

Hand sanitizer and holder

Keeping your hands clean while traveling helps fend off germs and unwanted illnesses. Hand sanitizer is essential for any trip, and clipping a travel-size bottle of it to your carry-on or handbag makes it easily accessible when you need it. You can find hand sanitizer holders on Amazon or at your local dollar store. You may also want to consider some antibacterial wipes for your in-flight tray table and sticky situations.

Toiletry bag and toiletries

Organizing your makeup, hair products, personal hygiene items and shaving supplies in a quality toiletry bag – such as the well-rated Lug Trolley on Amazon – makes it easy to find your essentials while traveling. Depending on what you plan to pack, a hanging style like the L.L.Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag , with a removable shower caddy and built-in hook, helps to save counter space and is especially useful in tight cruise ship cabins. To easily see everything at once, choose any of the clear cosmetics cases from CALPAK , which are available in multiple sizes and color trims.

For air travel, you'll need to keep in mind the TSA's 3-1-1 rule: that all liquids, gels and creams must be 3 ounces or less and placed into a one-quart clear bag. You can find refillable and travel-size toiletries and reusable quart-sized TSA-approved bags on Amazon .

Read: The Best Toiletry Bags

Medications and first-aid kit

You'll want to be sure to pack any prescription medications in your carry-on bag, along with other medications you may need while traveling, such as Dramamine . It's also helpful to have a travel-size first-aid kit with Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment and more.

Compression socks

For everything from long flights to walking miles exploring a new destination, compression socks can help provide additional support and reduce swelling. With varying levels of compression available, one medium-level option to consider is the Bombas Everyday Compression Socks – a U.S. News top pick .

Raw HTML : Tips on Trips and Expert Picks

For the vacation

Walking shoes.

Every journey includes a fair amount of walking, and nothing can put a stop to the fun like foot pain. Before you depart, be sure to invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes . For a sneaker style, the ASICS Gel-Contend is a U.S. News top pick. If you'd like a slip-on style, the Cole Haan 4.ZERØGRAND Loafer for both men and women provides comfort and stability, while being able to be dressed up or worn casually. For a sandal, consider a supportive option like the Birkenstock Mayari .

Travel purse/bag

One way to keep identification, credit cards and other personal information organized and protected while traveling is with a well-designed purse or belt bag , such as the Anti-Theft Classic Messenger or the Anti-Theft Active Waist Pack by Travelon . The Lug Convertible Carousel also includes RFID protection and can be worn as a belt bag or as a crossbody.

If you're looking for a fashionable bag that can easily go from day to night, check out the TUMI Voyageur Crossbody , which has a choice of leather or nylon construction with leather accents, multiple compartments and gold hardware. The sustainable and machine-washable Vera Bradley Utility Tote Bag is another great option, with a removable shoulder strap and exterior pockets for your phone and other essentials.

Read: The Top Travel Purses

Long-sleeved shirt

When you're traveling, there's a good chance you might be changing climates or find yourself a bit chilled from air conditioning. Pack a long-sleeve tee, such as the L.L.Bean Beyond Soft Tee for women or the Carefree Unshrinkable Tee for men . This basic wardrobe staple works as a shirt on its own, a base layer in colder weather or a pull-on style over a tee. For young travelers, consider the Kids' Graphic Tee from L.L. Bean for a bit of playful fun.

Button-up shirt

For a shirt that can truly multitask, pack a button-up shirt. A classic style – like a Calvin Klein shirt for men or a timeless white button-down for women on Amazon – can be dressed up for dinner or a museum visit, paired with shorts and rolled sleeves for exploring, or put it on with a bathing suit as a cover-up.

This wardrobe staple is a travel essential. Versatile black, white or navy tees can be worn alone, under a blazer or layered for added warmth as needed. Pack a few basic options like the cotton tees at Lands' End for women , men , girls and boys , then add a fun graphic tee or two.

Packable jacket

A jacket that can fold up small to be tucked into your luggage is essential for any vacation packing list. From rain jackets to lightweight puffer jackets, choose the perfect packable jacket to keep you warm and dry in any locale.

Evening outfit

Even if you're going to the beach or planning a casual retreat, chances are you'll go out for a nicer dinner at least one night. Women may want to consider a black travel dress on Amazon , which can be dressed up with evening sandals and a necklace (or worn during the day for sightseeing). Men can invest in a packable travel blazer and wrinkle-free dress pants.

Reusable/foldable bag

Whether you're heading to the local market or going on a day trip, a packable tote like the CALPAK Compakt Tote Bag is ideal for stowing your daytime essentials and finds you buy along the way. If you're the type that likes to buy a lot of souvenirs from your travels, the Lug Packable Boxer is ideal to use for a day tote while traveling and as a personal item on your return flight. One of these reusable bags can also double as a beach bag. Or, if you want to bring a beach bag to double as your everyday travel bag, check out the best beach bags from U.S. News for additional recommendations.

Read: The Top Travel Accessories, Chosen by Our Editors

Focus on the moment (and enjoy the visual later) with a digital camera like the Panasonic Lumix G100 4K . A mirrorless model with both the ability to capture video and still images offers versatility whether you want to record the waves at sunset or snap a selfie in front of a museum. To get creative angles or have a tripod on the go, the Joby GorillaPod is a flexible and bendable option for travel.

If you're an active traveler, a GoPro HERO9 is a must-pack item. It has built-in stabilization features, and you can livestream your endeavors, film video or shoot images with this waterproof design. For a vintage-infused photo gallery, the Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO Instant Camera is a hybrid camera that allows you to store images on a memory card or print them directly from the device. It's the perfect way to document your travels along the way.

Reef-safe sunscreen

Protect your skin and the oceans with reef-safe sunscreen . Depending on your destination, some places – including Hawaii; Key West, Florida; Aruba; parts of Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to name a few – have laws against the sale of sunscreens with reef-harming ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate. Many of the traditional brands of sunscreen have these ingredients, so look for an effective mineral-based sunscreen like Blue Lizard or Sun Bum .

In addition to sunscreen, a hat protects your face from the sun's harmful rays. What's more, it can be a fashionable addition to your beach attire. A packable style like the San Diego Hat Company women's large brim hat can be rolled and packed into a suitcase or carry-on, and provide a generous amount of shade at the beach, by the lake and beyond. For more recommendations, see U.S. News' list of the best beach hats .

While there's an endless array of bathing suit options, classic styles like a black tank suit for women can be paired with a long skirt to be transformed into an outfit. Or, a classic men's swim trunk can be worn with a polo top to maximize your vacation wardrobe. For the kids, Lands' End offers cute and functional designs for girls and boys .

Beach towels

Whether you want to add something soft to your favorite beach chair or you want to lay it right on the sand, a beach towel that repels sand and dries quickly is a vacation must-have. Consider a quick-drying oversized Turkish towel from Amazon or an attention-grabbing Lilly Pulitzer beach towel . You may also want to invest in a beach blanket .

Ideal as added sun protection or for walking through the air-conditioned corridors of a resort or cruise ship, a cute swimsuit cover-up is another packing essential. Some options include a chic J.Crew beach shirt , a stylish romper or a sheer La Blanca kimono .

Read: What to Wear on a Cruise

Nothing says laid-back vacation like a pair of flip-flops. Havaianas has styles for the whole family , in an array of colors and prints to coordinate with your beach attire.

Water shoes

Cuts on feet from coral, shells or even glass can be extremely painful. To protect the soles of you and yours, consider the Native Jefferson shoes , available in both children's and adult sizes. Designed for street wear, these versatile shoes are also water-friendly, making them ideal for everything from strolling the boardwalk to tubing down the river. For a more traditional water shoe, check out the Keen Newport sandals .

Sunscreen and cover-ups may protect your skin, but the sun can really hurt your eyes (especially when it reflects off the water). Top off your vacation style with Ray-Ban aviators or a classic Wayfarer . If you're seeking a chic retro vibe, you can't go wrong with a Kate Spade cat-eye frame.

More Vacation Packing Lists

Check out these other packing guides compiled by U.S. News:

  • Beach Packing List
  • Cruise Packing List
  • Alaska Cruise Packing List
  • Road Trip Packing List
  • Camping Packing List
  • What to Pack in a Carry-on

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Rachael Hood loves the entire packing process. From finding the right suitcase to curating the ideal wardrobe and accessories for every trip, Hood has been perfecting her vacation packing list for years. Her must-pack items include a TUMI handbag, a Lug cosmetic case and a CALPAK packable tote. She used her personal experience along with retail merchandising background and research skills to create this list.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Vacation Rental Travel Insurance Plans
  • How to Renew Your Passport
  • TSA Precheck vs. Global Entry: Which One Is Right for You?
  • Can I Use My Own Airplane Seat Belt Extender?
  • What Is Allowed in a Carry-on Bag?

Copyright 2023 U.S. News & World Report

Items in and out of a suitcase including shoes, sunglasses, swimwear and more.

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The Best Luggage Brands Already Kicked Off Their End-of-year Sales — Shop the Top 86 Deals Up to 60% Off

These high-performing carry-ons, checked bags, and luggage sets will impressive any traveler.

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Best Overall Luggage Deals

Best amazon luggage deals, best samsonite luggage deals.

  • Best Travelpro Luggage Deals

Best Calpak Luggage Deals

  • Best Tumi Luggage Deals

Best Away Luggage Deals

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  • Best Macy’s Luggage Deals

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

It’s that time of year again, folks! The most shopping- iest season of all is back and, I don’t know about you, but I’ve been running around checking names off of my list. If you’re in the same boat (or need something for a hard-to-shop-for traveler), you can take a breath of relief and make some time for getting cozy by the fire because we’re here to help you out. We’ve been staying on top of the end-of-the-year sales from our favorite travel brands and now, as our gift to you, we’ve rounded up the best 86 luggage deals that make great gifts. 

Brands like Samsonite , Calpak , and Travelpro , as well as top retailers such as Amazon and Macy's, are hosting massive sales on some of their best-selling luggage lines — including the Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Expandable 25-Inch Checked Luggage , Travelpro Maxlite Air Check-In Hardside 2-Piece Luggage Set , and Calpak Evry Starter Bundle , that are up to 60 percent off. Totes, backpacks, duffels, carry ons — you name it, we’ve got it in this comprehensive rundown of the best savings of the month. Keep scrolling so you can end your gift-giving search and enjoy the rest of the holiday season.

Starting off with some of the truly standout deals, we have Calpak coming in hot with 45 percent off the Evry Starter Bundle , which is ideal for travel novices or anyone in need of a major luggage revamp. Samsonite’s Two-Piece Hardside Luggage Set (CO/L) is a whopping 46 percent off (just make sure to use the code DLS10 ), and over at Macy’s, you can get the London Fog Brentwood III 20-Inch Expandable Hardside Spinner Carry-On for more than 55 percent off with the code GIVE .  Amazon , of course, is in the running with some fantastic bargains, and Away has some of the best deals we’ve seen from the brand all year.

  • Samsonite 2-Piece Hardside Luggage Set (CO/L) , $162 (originally $280) 
  • Away F.A.R Convertible 45L Backpack , $121 (originally $220)
  • Wrangler Smart 20-Inch Carry-On Suitcase With Cup Holder and USB Port , $48 (originally $64)
  • American Tourister Stratum 2.0 Expandable 2-Piece Luggage Set , $120 (originally $210)
  • Calpak Evry Starter Bundle , $299 (originally $545)
  • London Fog Brentwood III 20-Inch Expandable Spinner Carry-On Hardside , $136 with code GIVE (originally $320) 
  • Delsey Paris St. Tropez 24-Inch Hardside Check-In Spinner Suitcase , $238 with code GIVE (originally $560)
  • Samsonite Winfield 3 DLX Hardside Expandable 25-Inch Checked Luggage , $163 (originally $270) 
  • Travelpro WalkAbout 6 Medium 25-Inch Check-In Expandable Spinner , $187 with code GIVE (originally $440) 
  • Tumi 19 Degree International Expandable 4-Wheeled Carry-On , $599 (originally $750)

Amazon is always a go-to for scoring great deals on popular travel brands. Right now, you can get everything from the Travelers Club Expandable Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Set to the Wrangler Smart Carry-On Suitcase (which comes with a cup holder and USB charging port) for up to nearly 50 percent off. There’s also the stylish Itiezy Weekender Bag for $41 thanks to an on-site coupon and the Long Vacation Carry-On 3-Piece Luggage Set , which is $80 with a double discount. 

  • Travelers Club Expandable Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Set , $111 (originally $140)
  • Itiezy Weekender Bag , $41 (originally $60)
  • Long Vacation Carry-On 3-Piece Luggage Set , $80 (originally $130)
  • Delsey Paris Helium Aero Hardside Expandable 2-Piece Luggage Set , $210 (originally $350) 
  • American Tourister Stratum 2.0 Expandable Luggage 2-Piece Set , $120 (originally $210)
  • Wrangler 15-Inch Underseat Spinner Carry-On Luggage , $60 (originally $70)

An absolutely timeless brand, Samsonite keeps earning its place at the table with its sleek and ultra-reliable luggage. And as if the brand's current end-of-year deals weren’t enough, they’re currently offering an additional 10 percent off all sale items with code DLS10 . The Centric line is one to watch, with the Centric Carry-On Spinner on sale for $108 with the double discount code. Don’t miss out on the savings on the SXK line because, right now, the SXK Wheeled Duffel is more than $100 off and the SXK Core Messenger , which is the perfect gift for commuters, is $120. 

  • 2-Piece Hardside Luggage Set (CO/L) , $162 with code DLS10 (originally $280) 
  • Centric Carry-On Spinner , $108 with code DLS10 (originally $200)
  • Centric Medium Spinner , $135 with code DLS10 (originally $250)
  • Voltage DLX Large Spinner , $144 with code DLS10 (originally $280) 
  • SXK Rolltop Backpack , $120 with code DLS10 (originally $190)
  • SXK Wheeled Duffel , $189 with code DLS10 (originally $300)
  • SXK Core Messenger , $120 with code DLS10 (originally $190)

Best Travelpro Luggage Deals 

The selection and quality of Travelpro luggage is hard to beat, and the brand is currently rolling out a sitewide sale of up to 25 percent off for gift-shopping travelers. You can save big on just about every luggage category — starting with duffels and travel bags; pick up the Maxlite 5 Drop-Bottom Weekender for $96. Compact suitcases like the Crew VersaPack Rolling Underseat Carry-On dropped down to $184, and if there's room to go big, make sure to add the the Crew Versapack Max Carry-On Luggage Set to your cart while it's 20 percent off. 

  • Maxlite Air Check-In Hardside 2-Piece Luggage Set , $340 (originally $420)
  • Crew Versapack Max Carry-On Luggage Set , $752 (originally $940) 
  • Platinum Elite Large Check-In Hardside Spinner , $380 (originally $470)
  • Crew VersaPack Rolling Underseat Carry-On , $184 (originally $230)   
  • Maxlite 5 Drop-Bottom Weekender , $96 (originally $120)
  • Crew VersaPack Max Carry-On Spinner , $216(originally $270)
  • Bold 30-Inch Check-In Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffel , $188 (originally $250)
  • Maxlite 5 21-Inch Expandable Spinner Carry On Luggage , $136 (originally $170) 

Calpak is always a hit with its wide selection of fun-hued, high-quality travel bags and accessories, and there’s never been a better time to shop now that the brand has dropped hefty discounts on its top-rated luggage pieces. Take the Ambeur 3-Piece Luggage Set , which is more than 30 percent off, and the two-in-one Terra 26L Duffel Backpack that's $138. You can also grab the Stevyn Rolling Duffel for $105, or the Luka Expandable Laptop Tote for $79.

  • Luka Duffel , $99 (originally $128)
  • Trnk Mini Carry-On Luggage , $124 (originally $165) 
  • Luka Laptop Backpack , $87 (originally $108)
  • Terrazzo Carry-On Luggage , $167 (originally $195) 
  • Trnk Large Check-In Luggage , $207 (originally $280) 
  • Terra 2-in-1 26L Duffel Backpack , $138 (originally $175)
  • Luka Expandable Laptop Tote , $79 (originally $98)
  • Compakt Travel Tote Bundle , $55 (originally $91)
  • Ambeur 3-Piece Luggage Set , $495 (originally $715)
  • Evry Starter Luggage Bundle , $299 (originally $545)
  • Stevyn Rolling Duffel , $105 (originally $165)
  • Astyll 3-Piece Luggage Set , $429 (originally $715)

Best Tumi Luggage Deals 

Longtime Tumi fans know that sales from the beloved travel brand are rare. But, it's decided to kick off the holiday season with up to 20 percent off select items. Don't let these savings pass you by — pick up the International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On for $599, or the Kendallvile Brief for $395. You also won’t want to miss out on the current backpack deals, especially the Celina Backpack , which is an unheard of $375, and the Just in Case Backpack that's been marked down to $119.

  • 19 Degree International Front Lid Expandable 4-Wheeled Carry-On , $619 (originally $775)
  • 19 Degree International Expandable 4-Wheel Carry-On , $599 (originally $750)
  • Voyageur Kendallvile Brief , $395 (originally $495)
  • 19 Degree International Expandable 4-Wheeled Carry-On , $599 (originally $750)
  • 19 Degree Extended Trip Expandable 4-Wheeled Packing Case , $759 (originally $950)
  • Voyageur Celina Backpack , $375 (originally $479)
  • Alpha Bravo Navigation Backpack , $579 (originally $725)
  • Voyageur Leigh Backpack/Tote , $359 (originally $450)
  • Voyageur Just in Case Backpack , $119 (originally $150)

The spirit of giving must really have hit the folks at Away because the brand has unbelievable markdowns of up to 45 percent, making its top-rated travel gear a buy that you can’t afford to pass up. Must-haves like the Bigger Carry-On Flex and Carry-On Suitcase are starting at $236, while the F.A.R 40L Duffel is massively marked down to $82 and its Convertible Backpack counterpart is on sale for $121. If you're all set in the suitcase department, you can use this end-of-year sale to score big savings on travel bags and accessories like the Large Toiletry Bag and Tech Case Organizer . 

  • The Bigger Carry-On Flex , $276 (originally $345) 
  • The Carry-On , $236 (originally $295)
  • The Bigger Carry-On , $252 (originally $315)
  • The Large Flex , $340 (originally $425) 
  • The Garment Bag , $156 (originally $195)
  • The Tech Case Organizer , $60 (originally $75)
  • The Large Toiletry Bag , $60 (originally $75)
  • The Packable Carryall Tote , $60 (originally $75)
  • The Packable Backpack , $60 (originally $75)
  • F.A.R 40L Duffel , $82 (originally $150)
  • F.A.R 45L Convertible Backpack , $121 (originally $220)
  • Airline Approved Pet Carrier , $180 (originally $225)

Dagne Dover 

Dagne Dover has a fantastic promotion happening right now that lets you personalize a travel set to fit the exact tastes and needs of whoever you’re shopping for. The brand is offering 25 percent off on its two- and three-bag kits, with loads of options that give each one that hand-picked feeling. For students and professionals, there’s the School Essentials Kit that's starting at $165, and the Digital Nomad Bundle (which features bags great for carrying laptops and other tech essentials). Over in the sale section, the Kal Puff Drawstring Tote and other fan-favorite travel bags are on sale starting at $49. 

  • Carry-On Only Kit , from $327 (originally $435)
  • Beach Bum Kit , from $94 (originally $124)
  • School Essentials Kit , from $165 (originally $220)
  • Digital Nomad Kit , from $297 (originally $395)
  • New Parent Kit , from $180 (originally $240) 
  • Traveling Fam , from $327 (originally $435) 
  • Kal Puff Drawstring Tote , $99 (originally $175) 
  • Nova Sling Bag , $89 (originally $155) 
  • Rubi Crossbody , $49 (originally $115) 

Best Macy’s Luggage Deals 

It’s hard to think of a brand more closely tied to the holiday season than Macy’s and this year, the miracles don’t stop at 34th Street. The popular department store is offering more than 60 percent off on brands like Delsey Paris, London Fog, Samsonite, and Travelpro. They’re even adding an additional 15 percent off of sale items with code GIVE . Our top picks include the Tag Freehold 5-Piece Softside Spinner Luggage Set that's $80, the Delsey Paris St. Tropez 28-Inch Hardside Check-In Spinner that's down to $272 from $640, and the London Fog Brentwood III 20-Inch Expandable Spinner Carry-On , which is a rare $136. 

  • Samsonite Outline Pro 21-Inch Hardside Carry-on Spinner , $170 with code GIVE   (originally $400) 
  • Tag Freehold 5-Piece Softside Spinner Luggage Set , $80 (originally $240) 
  • DKNY Rapture Weekender Boarding Bag , $102 with code GIVE (originally $300)
  • Delsey Paris St. Tropez 24-Inch Hardside Check-In Spinner , $238 with code GIVE (originally $560)
  • Delsey Paris St. Tropez 28-Inch Hardside Check-In Spinner , $272 with code GIVE (originally $640)
  • Samsonite Open Road 15.6-Inch Laptop Backpack , $187 with code GIVE (originally $440) 
  • London Westminster 25-Inch Expandable Check-In Spinner , $128 with code GIVE (originally $300) 
  • London Fog Oxford III Cabin Bag , $85 with code GIVE (originally $200) 

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Watch CBS News

Best luxury luggage in 2024

By Leah Groth, Kaylyn McKenna

Updated on: January 23, 2024 / 11:05 AM EST / Essentials

CBS Essentials is created independently of the CBS News editorial staff. We may receive commissions from some links to products on this page. Promotions are subject to availability and retailer terms.

best luxury luggage in 2024

If you're got a vacation coming up in 2024, consider upgrading your luggage before you leave. The following luxury luggage options from Rimowa , Paravel , Monos , Roam and other top brands will have you flying the friendly skies in style -- all while improving your overall travel experience.

What is the difference between a budget suitcase and a more expensive alternative? Higher-end suitcases and travel bags feature superior construction and materials, making them less likely to fall apart during your travels. They also offer more refined and tech-savvy features, such as perfected spinner wheels, telescopic handles with LEDs, built-in USB ports to charge gadgets, built-in Apple AirTag functionality and more.

In general, luxury luggage in 2024 is built to last, sometimes for decades. Some travel experts encourage investing in a high-quality suitcase because it may actually save you money over the long haul.

The best luxury luggage in 2024

The CBS Essentials luggage experts have rounded up some of the best carry-on and check-in suitcases and duffel bags from high-end brands like Rimowa, Paravel, Christian Dior, Samsonite, Tumi and more. 

  • Best luxury aluminum luggage : Rimowa Original
  • Best luxury luggage for techies : Samsonite Stryde 111 carry-on spinner

Best luxury luggage for organization: Royce & Rocket The Castle Classic

  • Best hybrid luxury luggage : Monos Hybrid luggage
  • Best softside luxury luggage : Travelpro Platinum Elite  

Best luxury trunk luggage: Victorinox Spectra 3.0 trunk

  • Best sustainable luxury luggage : Paravel Aviator Grand

Best customizable luxury luggage: Roam luggage

  • Best luxury leather bag for travel : Ghurka Packet No. 83

Check out some of the best luggage of 2024 below.

Best luxury aluminum luggage: Rimowa Original

rimowa original

The Rimowa Original is one of the most iconic suitcases of all time. Engineered in Germany out of top-of-the-line aluminum, the grooved suitcase is equipped with everything you need for travel. 

Features include TSA-approved locks, a flex divider for organized packing, a telescopic handle and a smooth, multi-wheel system. While the surprisingly lightweight suitcase (the smallest carry-on weighs 9.3 pounds) might be a splurge, consider it an investment in a long-term travel buddy. 

Available in three carry-on sizes, two check-in and a large trunk version in titanium, silver and black.

Why we like the Rimowa Original:

  • Its aluminum construction protects your belongings much better than soft-sided or polycarbonate luggage.
  • Its sleek metallic material gives these luggage pieces a trendy, high-end look.
  • Available in four colors.

Best luxury luggage for techies: Samsonite Stryde 111 carry-on spinner


The Samsonite Stryde 111, sold exclusively on the Samsonite website, offers sleek, luxury styling and next-level technology. It's handle is equipped with LED lights for nighttime safety, while multiple USB charging ports offer the ability to recharge your phones on the go.

A removable wet pack and multiple zippered sections makes organizing your stuff easy, while smooth-gliding dual spinner wheels and a precise handle system make getting through the airport and into the plane a breeze.  

Why we like the Samsonite Stride 111 carry-on: 

  • This piece comes with a dedicated pocket for your portable battery and dual USB charging ports to keep your devices charged while traveling.
  • It features built-in LED lights for added visibility and safety while traveling at night.


Anyone who struggles to stay organized while temporarily living out of a suitcase will appreciate the clever built-in shelving of this super-sized 31-inch piece of checked luggage from  Royce & Rocket . Keep all of your family's items nearly organizing by stacking everything on the two tier shelves that fold down when the suitcase opens. Available in burgundy, silver and black exterior colors with the option of a pink or tobacco interior. 

Why we like the Royce & Rocket The Castle checked luggage:

  • The included compression system and castle shelves help you fit everything your family needs and stay organized throughout your trip.
  • It includes a mesh zip and lots of internal pockets for easy organization.
  • It features with a  TSA-approved lock .

Best hybrid luxury luggage: Monos Hybrid luggage

monos hybrid check-in

Monos  is a CBS Essentials reader-favorite luggage brand, and the Hybrid collection makes a great alternative to Rimowa luggage. The Monos Hybrid combines the convenience of polycarbonate with the durability of aluminum, resulting in a lightweight but resilient piece of luxury luggage.  

The hybrid comes in two carry-on and two check bags options in addition to a large trunk and three color options, obsidian, champagne and silver. The pieces are made with a hard polycarbonate shell with a metallic finish, a zipperless aluminum frame and an anodized aluminum corner guard. Pricing starts at $325.

Why we like Monos Hybrid luggage: 

  • It offers the luxurious look and feel of aluminum luggage with less weight and a lower price point.
  • Monos offers a 100-day trial period and a limited lifetime warranty. 
  • The aluminum corner guards offer added durability in case the luggage is dropped.

Best softside luxury luggage: Travelpro Platinum Elite 


Available in two checked sizes, 25 inches and 29 inches, the Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner offers a higher-end look at a more affordable price point. Constructed of a stain-resistant fabric with stylish leather accents, the bag features an internal tie-down system, integrated accessory products, a built-in, foldable suiter and a removable, TSA-compliant wet pocket for toiletries. 

For those needing extra space to bring home travel purchases, the suitcase features a tapered expansion that adds an extra two inches. Prices vary by color.

Why we like the Travelpro Platinum Elite spinner:

  • Travelpro offers  a lifetime warranty .
  • The  TSA-approved lock  keeps your belongings secure.
  • Reviewers praise the bag's durability.


The 29.9-inch Victorinox Spectra 3.0 trunk boasts 99 liters of space. Two integrated compressible packing cubes, roomy mesh pockets and X-shaped straps makes organizing a breeze. Constructed out of Sorplas, a high-performance recycled polycarbonate sourced from plastic bottles, the sleek suitcase is a sustainable luggage option.

Why we like the Victorinox Spectra 3.0:

  • It expands by up to 20% for extra storage space,
  • It offers a lockable quick-access front pocket.
  • The carry-on have a dual-tube telescopic handle for easy maneuvering.

Best sustainable luxury luggage: Paravel Aviator Grand


Travel in preppy style with Pavavel, a newer, carbon-neutral, sustainability-minded luggage and travel brand. Paravel makes one check-in bag, a 28-inch vessel perfect for packing eight to 10 days worth of clothes and up to four pairs of shoes. Geared with frictionless, carbon steel-bearing wheels, the Paravel Aviator Grand offers 360-degree movement and a telescopic handle. 

Complete with leather-wrapped side handles and trim, the grooved polycarbonate bag matches perfectly with the Parvael monogrammed cabana tote. Purchase a la carte or as a set. 

Why we like the Paravel Aviator Grand:

  • Paravel luggage is carbon neutral, meaning that the company offsets the expected emissions from the manufacturing and delivery process as well as your first trip with the suitcases.
  • The suitcase is made of recycled materials.
  • The checked bag features 360-degree spinning wheel for smooth rolling.


Luxury brand Roam offers custom-designed luggage. You select the color of just about everything: the front and rear shell, zipper, binding, wheels, handle and monogram patch. Choose from one of eight sizes, ranging from The Carry-On, a 37.0-liter capacity suitcase ($550) to The Large Check-In, a 121.0-liter capacity trunk ($695) .

A few weeks later, your custom suitcase arrives at your door ready for an adventure. 

Why we like Roam luggage: 

  • You can heavily customize the suitcase and choose your favorite colors.
  •  Roam suitcases comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Roam luggage comes with a 100-day trial period and a lifetime guarantee.

Best luxury leather bag for travel: Ghurka Packet No. 83


A great garment bag keeps fine clothing from getting wrinkled, including business suits and dresses. This leather, tri-fold offers ample space for hanging clothes and folds up into a carry-on sized bag. 

Other features include a large exterior zipper pocket for smaller items, an exterior pouch for travel documents and other easily accessible zipper pockets to stash miscellaneous items. Available in vintage black and vintage chestnut leather and khaki twill with leather accents. 

Why we like the Ghurka Packet No. 83

  • It comes with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap.
  • The bag can fit two to three suits or several other garments.
  • The bag comes with a premium Ghurka luggage tag included.

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The Best Amazon Luggage Deals to Shop Now: Save Up to 70% on Samsonite, Travelpro and More

Prime Day Luggage Deals

Gear up for your next getaway with the best Amazon luggage deals from top brands like Samsonite, Travelpro, SwissGear and more.

Nothing can make or break a much-needed vacation like the wheel popping off of your way-too-old suitcase as you dash through the airport. If your current suitcase has seen better days or can't fit all of your essentials, now is the perfect time to update your  travel gear  ahead of your next getaway.

Right now, you can save up to 70% on highly-rated suitcases, weekender bags and travel essentials at Amazon. Whether you're looking for a chic travel tote for the upcoming holiday weekend or a complete luggage set to organize all your essentials for a Valentine's Day baecation, there are plenty of deals from  Samsonite , Rockland, Travelpro and more.

We've rounded up the biggest discounts on checked baggage,  carry-ons and weekender bags  that are stylish as well as durable, while still meeting TSA requirements. From expandable soft-side luggage to hard-side suitcases built to secure everything on your packing list, Amazon's deals include best-selling options that you'll actually be happy to see at baggage claim.

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Samsonite centric 2 hardside expandable luggage carry-on.

Samsonite Centric 2 Hardside Expandable Luggage Carry-On

With over 5,000 positive reviews, this lightweight carry-on will ease your overpacking worries.

$190   $120

SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Roller Carry-On

SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Roller Carry-On

With over 16,000 reviews, this SwissGear carry-on has an excellent 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage

Rockland Melbourne Hardside Expandable Spinner Wheel Luggage

This 20-inch spinner is available in so many fun colors, including this trendy champagne.

Samsonite Omni 2 Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Samsonite Omni 2 Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Omni 2 combines scratch-resistant textures with lightweight 100% polycarbonate construction, ensuring your luggage looks as great on the 100th trip as it does on the first. 

$170   $118

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage

Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage

Travelpro's softsided suitcase is surprisingly roomy with plenty of pockets and compression straps.

$170   $144

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port

Samsonite Underseat Carry-On Spinner with USB Port

Charge electronics on the go with this carry-on that fits under most airline seats. 

$145   $105

Best Luggage Set Deals

Travelers club midtown hardside 4-piece luggage travel set.

Travelers Club Midtown Hardside 4-Piece Luggage Travel Set

This 4-piece luggage set includes two suitcases, a tote bag and a toiletry kit. This is the perfect set for any of your travel plans

$140   $109

Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set

Coolife 3-Piece Luggage Set

Save over 60% on a luxe hard-sided carry-on with a matching travel and toiletry bag. 

$300   $100

With Coupon

Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable 5-Piece Luggage Set

Travelers Club Chicago Hardside Expandable 5-Piece Luggage Set

This affordable 5-piece set includes a 28" large check-in suitcase, 24" medium check-in suitcase, 20" carry-on, 15" boarding tote and 10" travel toiletry bag.

$198   $168

Rockland Fashion Expandable Softside Upright Luggage Set

Rockland Fashion Expandable Softside Upright Luggage Set

Save big with this luggage duo that is perfect for experienced travelers. Including a 20'' upright carry-on and a 13'' x 11'' tote-bag, this set is perfect for packing all your travel must-haves.

Coolife Expandable Suitcase PC ABS TSA Luggage 3 Piece Set

Coolife Expandable Suitcase PC ABS TSA Luggage 3 Piece Set

Travel smarter with this 3-piece expandable luggage set. With 360° design wheels, you will be able to maneuver through any tight space. 

$300   $160

Best Deals on Duffels and Weekender Bags

Etronik weekender bag.

ETRONIK Weekender Bag

The ETRONIK Weekender Bag features an expandable bottom compartment, a zippered waterproof lined pocket and three outside pockets to fit all the essentials for your next getaway. 

Vera Bradley Women's Performance Twill Weekender Travel Bag

Vera Bradley Women's Performance Twill Weekender Travel Bag

In the fabric you know and love, the lightweight yet durable quilted cotton is great for minimalist travel or as a carryon bag to hold your toiletry bag, hand sanitizer and neck pillow and other travel essentials.

MATEIN Carry on Backpack

MATEIN Carry on Backpack

Perfect for maximizing personal item space on an airplane, this carry-on backpack has separate laptop and shoe compartments to help stay organized and secure.

Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag

Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag

A spacious main compartment and six separate pockets make this duffel bag excellent for keeping all of your belongings organized.

Adidas Defender 4 Small Duffel Bag

Adidas Defender 4 Small Duffel Bag

This carry-on bag is perfect for a week or weekend trip. Plus, you can use it as a gym bag.

Samsonite Women's Mobile Solution Classic Duffel

Samsonite Women's Mobile Solution Classic Duffel

The Samsonite Women's Mobile Solution Classic Duffel features an two exterior slip pockets and two interior zippered pockets to hold all of your essentials.

Best Travel Gear Deals 

Travelon women's anti-theft classic messenger bag.

Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag

Traveling to large cities this fall? This October Prime Day deal features anti-theft design, so your belongings stay secure.

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag

This deal is suitable for both travel and home toiletry organization.

Veken 8 Set of Various Colored Packing Cubes

Veken 8 Set of Various Colored Packing Cubes

These packing cubes are a best seller on Amazon for keeping all your essentials organized. 

Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest

Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest

This ergonomic memory foam footrest hangs from the tray table for a much more comfortable flight.

Inicat Small Crossbody Sling Bag

Inicat Small Crossbody Sling Bag

This unisex crossbody is useful to wear on a travel day when you need your ID, passport, and credit cards more easily accessible. 

For even more savings on best-selling products, check out our ultimate guide to all the  best Amazon deals  on tech, fashion, beauty, home and more to shop today.

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  12. The 15 Best Travel Bags for Every Type of Trip 2022

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  13. The 11 Best Luggage Pieces for International Travel ...

    Travel Products Luggage + Bags Suitcases + Duffel Bags The 11 Best Luggage Pieces for International Travel of 2024, Tested and Reviewed From flexible softside suitcases to ultra-durable...

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  15. The 12 Best Checked Luggage Pieces of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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  16. 14 Best Luggage Brands of 2024

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  17. The Best Luggage for Every Type of Trip

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  18. 17 Best Luggage Brands of 2024, Tested by Our Travel Experts

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  20. The Best Carry-on Luggage of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

    Our top picks for carry-on luggage. Best hard-sided overall: Samsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels - See at Amazon. Form, function, durability, and an excellent price ...

  21. The 18 Best Luggage Brands of 2023

    Travel The 18 Best Luggage Brands of 2023 These top-rated brands offer carry-ons, checked luggage and more to make travel easier. By Rachael Hood | June 28, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. (Courtesy of...

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  24. Vacation Packing List: 27 Essentials for Any Trip

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  25. 86 Best Holiday Luggage Deals for Travelers

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    Whether a frequent traveler or a homebody, luggage deals make it easy to grab a new luggage set for any getaway. Snag one up to 60% off. Pick up a luggage set before vacation season starts!

  27. Best luxury luggage in 2024

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  28. The Best Amazon Luggage Deals to Shop Now

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